Friday, April 30, 2010

Of Course! It must have been Sabotage.

Limbaugh can't stand that another deregulated industry, failed to protect the Environment with a simple shut off valve. This is just another example of Big Business and Government shirking their responsibilities in the name of profit and increased campaign donations.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

5-7 is Now Bowl Eligible?

College Football is trying to make the Bowl season even more meaningless.

This is from ESPN.

Here is a taste.

Though the NCAA doesn't think a losing team will get in a bowl game, especially with wins over Football Championship Subdivision teams counting toward bowl eligibility, it is still coming up with a contingency plan -- just in case.

"That's what's being discussed at this point, if you can't fill the spots," said Mark Womack, associate commissioner of the Southeastern Conference and a member of the NCAA's Football Issues committee that approved the new bowls. "But historical data will tell you can, so I think the odds of that happening are probably pretty good to fill all those games based on the historical data that we have.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Kentucky Derby vs. Fin-Reg.

This is from Ezra Klien of The Washington Post.

Word is that the Democrats might make the Republicans actually filibuster FinReg tonight. That is to say, stand on the floor and talk and talk and talk. And if the Democrats are serious about forcing the Republicans to really filibuster the bill, this is the right week for it: The Kentucky Derby starts Friday, and Kentucky's senior senator, Mitch McConnell, would surely prefer to attend. Given that his members arealready talking about breaking ranks, McConnell may find himself eager to get this kabuki dance over with a little bit early.

This just illustrates how utterly ridiculous the GOP party has become. If this turns out to be the true motivation for the passing of Fin-Reg, how can anyone besides Fox News take the GOP party at face value?

The Meth Lab of Democracy!

Jon Stewart is the best.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Law & Border
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Stupider Like a Fox!

Only Homer Simpson could sum up Sarah Palin's take on Fin-Reg.

Matt Taibbi does a pretty good job here.

Palin in her own words.

Moreover, the financial reform bill gives regulators the power to pick winners and losers, institutionalizing their ability to decide “which firms to rescue or close, and which creditors to reward and how.” Does anyone doubt that firms with the most lobbyists and the biggest campaign donations will be the ones who get seats in the lifeboat? The president is trying to convince us that he’s taking on the Wall Street “fat cats,” but firms like Goldman Sachs are happy with federal regulation because, as one of their lobbyists recently stated, “We partner with regulators.”

Taibbi in response.

Sometimes it’s hard not to admire Sarah Palin. You need to have a pair of iron church bells swinging between your knees to pull off a crazy line like this, and she does it almost effortlessly. If you’re scoring at home, the idea here is that banks like Goldman actually want this regulatory bill because it will allow them to “partner with regulators,” i.e. team up with the government, to dominate the economy. This is despite the fact that Washington is currently flooded with financial services industry lobbyists who, in an attempt to kill this bill, are practically lugging suitcases full of money around to throw at the likes of Ben Nelson and Mitch McConnell.

The awesome thing about this is that it’s almost guaranteed to work with the people Palin is targeting. The Democrats here are going to suffer, deservedly so, for having taken so much money in the past from Goldman and banks like Goldman. That fact now allows transparent bullshitters like Palin — who incidentally supported the bank bailouts — to credibly argue that this Regulatory Reform bill is an industry creation

Sarah Palin continues her bullshit road show trying to look Presidential as she cashes in on her fame.

The Same Old GOP Bullshit. 1st Health Care now Fin-Reg.

The GOP Senators and Leaders go on all the Sunday talk shows and explain how they are behind Fin-Reg. But the truth is they are approaching the debate the same way they did Health Care.

Delay, Delay, Delay.

Here is Paul Ryan putting his spin on The Fin-Reg Bill.

What we have here is the GOP throwing everything against the wall to delay the process, again. Ryan flat out says he wants reform in the derivatives market. But where was Ryan when HR 4173 was going through the House of Representatives? Just like where was Ryan when Health Care was being formed? After the fact this guy has plenty of ideas. But when an actual bill is being prepared he is absent.

Mike Konczal of the blog Rortybomb is probably one of the most respected writers on the Fin-Reg. He takes on Ryan's claims here.

Here is a taste.

Representative Paul Ryan is now going on television saying that he wants a market based trigger for resolution based on Hart-Zingales’ model of how to tear down a large systemically risky firm. Within seconds, he is also calling the Dodd Bill a bailout bill, and a bill that picks winners because a resolution authority fund would give out haircuts, and he thinks we need to do bankruptcy on large financial firms.

We’ve been through this before, but Hart-Zingales is a resolution authority based reform for how to deal with a large systemically failing financial firm like Lehman Brothers. This is not bankruptcy for large systemically failing firms.

Bankruptcy reform would mean that we wait until the firm can’t make a payment before declaring it bankrupt, and then having a bankruptcy court handle the wind down of the firm. The Great Depression taught us that waiting until a person can’t access their checking account is a bad timing device to declare a commercial bank failed, and as such we have the FDIC wind down a failing bank earlier. Lehman’s bankruptcy judge declared: “This is the most momentous bankruptcy hearing I’ve ever sat through. It can never be deemed precedent for future cases. It’s hard for me to imagine a similar emergency”, so I think the idea holds. Resolution authority does the same exact thing for shadow banks and large, highly-leveraged and interconnected financial firms.

The question is when to pull the trigger. Hart-Zingales wants a market-based trigger based on the price of a CDS contract. If you look at the past few years and think that conclusion of AIG-FP and Magnetar is that the price of a CDS contract is a great predictor of default rates (has an expected value of 0), and that this won’t incentivize market participates with well defined goals to force a profitable banking run, run with it.

Hart-Zingales soft-pedal it, but their description: “and issuing equity did not improve its situation, the regulator would replace the institution’s CEO with a receiver or trustee. This person would be required to recapitalize and sell the company, guaranteeing in the process that shareholders were wiped out and creditors — while not wiped out — received a ‘haircut,’ meaning that the value of what they were owed would be reduced by some set percentage…this regulatory receivership would be similar to a mild form of bankruptcy” is exactly what the Dodd Bill and Obama’s White Paper are trying to do.

Same old GOP bullshit. Just a different platform. Give the Rortybomb a read, it is a must if you want to understand the Fin-Reg Legislation that is currently being delayed by the GOP.

Monday, April 26, 2010

What you should know about the Senate Fin-Reg Bill.

Mike Conzai IMO is the most creditable writer on Fin-Reg.

Click here for 6 things worth fighting for in the Senate Bill.

Let's Not Forget About the Ratings Agencies.

Krugman writes about financial reform here.

Here is a taste.

No, the e-mail messages you should be focusing on are the ones from employees at the credit rating agencies, which bestowed AAA ratings on hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of dubious assets, nearly all of which have since turned out to be toxic waste. And no, that’s not hyperbole: of AAA-rated subprime-mortgage-backed securities issued in 2006, 93 percent — 93 percent! — have now been downgraded to junk status.

This is something that can be regulated.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

How about a Green Tea Party?

I have written on a number of occasions I believe the Tea Party is nothing new. In fact, they are the same 20% of the Country who hate everything Government, but really hate Liberal Governments. They almost always vote GOP, but really don't stand for anything but a slogan. Which reads something like this.

"Less Government, Less Taxes, Cut The Budget."

Which really is funny if you think about it.

Until the Tea Party proposes cuts in Medicare, along with means-testing for Social Security, a raising of the retirement age, along with thoughtful and meaningful cuts in Defense Spending. I can't take them seriously, and either should you.

How do we get smaller deficits and less Government unless these tough subjects are dealt with?

While the Tea Party keeps making noise. Thomas Friedman has a proposition for them.

He writes.

Become the Green Tea Party.

I’d be happy to design the T-shirt logo and write the manifesto. The logo is easy. It would show young Americans throwing barrels of oil imported from Venezuela and Saudi Arabia into Boston Harbor.

The manifesto is easy, too: “We, the Green Tea Party, believe that the most effective way to advance America’s national security and economic vitality would be to impose a $10 “Patriot Fee” on every barrel of imported oil, with all proceeds going to pay down our national debt.”

I like Friedman because he is a dreamer. Give his article a read, it is well worth it.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Soap Opera of Big Ten Expansion.

I still believe the Big Ten would like to add only one more team. That team being Notre Dame. But they need to show they are willing to expand to 16 teams, showing ND they may be left in the cold if they do not join. If ND calls their bluff, the Big Ten and Jim Delany will have three decisions to make.

1st scuttle The Big East by taking Pitt, Syracuse, and Rutgers and or possibly UConn, and stay at 14 teams. This scenario will likely kill the Big East and thus severely putting the hurt on ND's non-football revenue, and possibly academic prestige. This still leaves Delany an out, with hopes of ND seeing the writing on the wall, and joining a future 16 team league.

2nd scuttle the Big East and bring the Big Ten to 16 teams. This really has the possibility of hurting ND. The question is will ND feel football independence is more important than the long term well being of the institution? That is the question AD Jack Swarbrick must answer. Of course the answer is "no" but one thing Catholics have shown in the last couple of months is the pretension to go down swinging no matter how bad that decision may be (see Pope). A non ND 16 team league could look like this. Nebraska, Missouri, Syracuse, Pitt, Rutgers, with UConn being a wild card. This is the ND nuclear option if Delany chooses.

3rd just add Nebraska. This gives the Big Ten a rabid fan base much like that of Penn State, a championship game, a future with ND still possible and the Big East still intact. This is the small carbon footprint option.

One thing is for sure, Delany and Swarbrick will have decisions to make. My guess is Delany approaches ND first saying this is what were thinking. ND joining the Big Ten is a win win, and you know it. Either you are going to join as our 12th team, or we are going to 16 without you. If Swarbrick decides against joining the Big Ten, Delany will choose one of those three options. In my opinion I just can't see Delany not choosing an ND nuclear option if the Irish say "no" again. Although I would caution against it. What will need to happen is for ND to save face with its alumni somehow, by saying they decided to spare the Big East by joining the Big Ten. Because in all reality, that will probably be what they are doing if they decide to join.

The Guessing Game:

16 team league.

Pipe Dream League: Texas, Texas A&M, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Kansas.

More likely: Notre Dame, Nebraska, Syracuse, Missouri, Pitt.

Without ND: Nebraska, Missouri, Syracuse, Pitt, Rutgers.

If you have ND, you do not need Rutgers and Syracuse to get into the NY market. That is why I believe Syracuse would be the better fit.

14 team league:

ND, Nebraska, Syracuse

No ND: Syracuse, Rutgers, Pitt

12 team league:

ND or Nebraska.

For the best insight on Big Ten Expansion click here.

Quote of the Day.

Andrew Sullivan on the Tea Party.

When they propose cuts in Medicare, means-testing Social Security, a raising of the retirement age and a cut in defense spending, I'll take them seriously and wish them well.

Until then, I'll treat them with the condescending contempt they have thus far deserved.

The Tea Party is the same old white guy who hates everything government, but doesn't want to change anything to make a difference. Now they have a name and a news network. Congrats!

Fox News is a Joke.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Can Denard Robinson Save Rich Rods Job?

USC to be Stripped of Football Championship?

Saw this in article today.

The BCS runs college football, not the NCAA, so there is no NCAA title for the NCAA to possibly strip. USC won the BCS trophy, which is awarded by the USA Today coaches' poll. Can USA Today revoke USC's title? USC also won the Associated Press trophy in 2004, which could lead to AP breaking news: The AP is reporting today that it is stripping USC of its national title, according to AP sources.

When USC is found guilty. Looks as if nothing will happen.

Boss Hogg For President!

John Chait writes about the possibility of Haley Barbour becoming the GOP candidate for President.

This is a Newsweek profile.

The Republican governor of Mississippi keeps a large portrait of the University Greys, the Confederate rifle company that suffered 100 percent casualties at Gettysburg, on a wall not far from a Stars and Bars Confederate flag signed by Jefferson Davis. Then there's the man himself. Rather than walking across the street from his office to the state capitol, he rides a hundred or so yards in the back seat of a large SUV, air conditioning on full blast.

Here is Barbour during his 1982 Senate run after one of his aides made a racist remark.

Barbour warned the aide that if he "persisted in racist remarks, he would be reincarnated as a watermelon and placed at the mercy of blacks."

Is this the best the GOP has to offer?

Chait in his own words.

Again, I simply can't imagine the Republicans being crazy enough to nominate this man. If they're going to nominate a terrible nominee, they might as well go with one they really love, like Sarah Palin. But Obama-Barbour would be a hell of a thing to watch, wouldn't it?

The "Time Machine" Ticket. Obama v. Barbour 2012.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Nerd Leaves New Prototype iphone at Bar.

Click here for the story.

2010 Budget.

Did The Constitution Party Just Call Lindsey Graham Gay?

More angry White Men looking for someone to blame.

Low Turnout at the Scared White Man Convention.

Thank God our Nation allows our citizens the opportunity too speak their mind. Because when they do, it shows the rest of us just how out of touch they are.

I would also thank YouTube, now everyone can see what a small turnout this was. Although I'm sure Fox News will put the estimate at about 20,000.

What an Awful Story.

Here is The Story of Harold and Clay.

Some of it reads.

Clay and his partner of 20 years, Harold, lived in California. Clay and Harold made diligent efforts to protect their legal rights, and had their legal paperwork in place—wills, powers of attorney, and medical directives, all naming each other. Harold was 88 years old and in frail medical condition, but still living at home with Clay, 77, who was in good health.

One evening, Harold fell down the front steps of their home and was taken to the hospital. Based on their medical directives alone, Clay should have been consulted in Harold’s care from the first moment. Tragically, county and health care workers instead refused to allow Clay to see Harold in the hospital. The county then ultimately went one step further by isolating the couple from each other,placing the men in separate nursing homes. Ignoring Clay’s significant role in Harold’s life, the county continued to treat Harold like he had no family and went to court seeking the power to make financial decisions on his behalf. Outrageously, the county represented to the judge that Clay was merely Harold’s “roommate.” The court denied their efforts, but did grant the county limited access to one of Harold’s bank accounts to pay for his care


Where is our compassion?

WTF Moment.


What Can Dennis Green Teach Us About The Tea Party?

I have often wondered where was the Tea Party for the last eight years? You know the years where our Vice President actually said. "Deficits don't matter" You know the Government that took a surplus and transformed it into a 1.3 trillion dollar deficit, through unfunded Wars and free giveaways like the prescription drug bill. They did this all while watching our economy swirl the toilet in a regulator free environment. You would think a grass roots movement would form in that environment. Nope, it somehow formed organically years after such events?

If this sounds fishy, it should. I have always thought the Tea Party is nothing new, and believe they have been around for sometime, but not specifically named. They in my mind were that Conservative, mostly white, over 50 part of our society that makes up about 15%- 20% of our nation. A demographic who would never vote for a Democrat.

Well, a study was preformed by the New York Times and CBS News recently and has confirmed much of what I have thought about the Tea Party.

E.J. Dionne Jr. wrote a piece for The New Republic here.

Dionne writes.

Their findings suggest that the tea party is essentially the reappearance of an old anti-government far right that has always been with us and accounts for about one-fifth of the country. The Times reported that tea party supporters "tend to be Republican, white, male, married and older than 45." This is the populism of the privileged.

Tea party backers are far more likely than others to describe their views as "very conservative," and are decidedly more inclined than the rest of us to believe that too much is made of the problems facing black people.

I have written many times about how race has played a role, no matter how small or large it may be. Now combine race with the usual right wing hatred of anything liberal and you have a more heated situation.

Dionne continues with some interesting facts about the Tea Party.

Saying this invites immediate denunciations from defenders of those who bring guns to rallies, threaten violence to "take our country back" and mouth old slogans about states' rights and the Confederacy. So let's be clear: Opposition to the president is driven by many factors that have nothing to do with race. But race is definitely part of what's going on.

Here is the poll question in its entirety: "In recent years, do you think too much has been made of the problems facing black people, too little has been made, or is it about right?"

Twenty-eight percent of all Americans -- and just 19 percent of those who are not tea party loyalists -- answered "too much." But among tea party supporters, the figure is 52 percent. Tea partiers are almost three times as likely as the rest of us to say that too much attention is being paid to the problems of blacks.

Among all Americans, 11 percent say that the Obama administration's policies favor blacks over whites; 25 percent of tea party sympathizers say this. Again, more is going on here than race, but race is in the picture.

Tea party enthusiasts also consistently side with the better-off against the poor, putting them at odds with most Americans. The poll found that while only 38 percent of all Americans said that "providing government benefits to poor people encourages them to remain poor," 73 percent of tea party partisans believed this. Among all Americans, 50 percent agreed that "the federal government should spend money to create jobs, even if it means increasing the budget deficit." Only 17 percent of tea party supporters took this view.

To use a phrase from Dennis Green, Ex-Arizona Cardinals coach, who said, in a rant after an NFL game. "They are who we thought they were!" speaking about the Chicago Bears in 2006.

Dionne points out in his article, the Tea Party is who we thought they were. They are not some vast organization or grass roots movement. They are the same 50 year old Conservative White Guys that have been complaining about anything Government for years now. They came out in number during Bill Clintons stint in office, and they are back again for Obama. But this time there are other factors that figure in the mix, the elephant in the room is race, and the other is a so called News Network that is a vessel for not only the Republican Party but anything Conservative.

Dionne continues.

And this must be the first "populist" movement ever driven by a television network: 63 percent of the tea party folks say they most watch Fox News "for information about politics and current events," compared with 23 percent of the country as a whole.

The right-wing fifth of the American population deserves news coverage like everyone else, and Fox is perfectly free to pander to its own viewers. What makes no sense is allowing a sliver of opinion out of touch with, yes, the "real" America to dominate the media and distort our political discourse.

Coach Green was sick of answering questions about the so-called "Great" Chicago Bears back then, and went off saying exactly what I would like to say about the Tea Party. "They are what we thought they were!" they are nothing new, just like the Bears were nothing Coach Green hadn't seen before. They are the same old right wing of the Conservative party.

5 Good Minutes (or less)

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Friday, April 16, 2010

Jerry Jones is Drunk as Hell!

Blogger Fight!

Andrew Ross Sorkin of the NYT wrote this.

Which said this.

You may recall that during the most perilous months of 2008 and early 2009, there was a vigorous debate about how the government should fix the financial system. Some economists, including Nouriel Roubini of New York University and The Times’s own Paul Krugman, declared that we should follow the example of the Swedes by nationalizing the entire banking system.

They argued that Wall Street was occupied by the walking dead, and that no matter how much money we threw at the banks, they would eventually topple the system all over again and cause a domino effect worldwide.

Paul Krugman of the NYT, and Princeton, disagrees and wrote this.

From which he says this.

I certainly never said anything like that, and I don’t think Nouriel did either. First of all, I never called for “nationalizing the entire banking system” — I wanted the government to take temporary full ownership of a few weak banks, mainly Citigroup and possibly B of A. I defy Sorkin to find any examples of me calling for a total takeover.

Clark Hoyt of the NYT plays referee and renders judgement here.

He writes.

I think the right thing to do is to simply acknowledge that, in trying to quickly summarize Krugman’s nuanced position, Sorkin over-simplified and got it wrong. Krugman did not call for the nationalization of the entire banking system, and, unless Sorkin can produce a citation to the contrary, he did not say it was necessary because otherwise the banks would fail again and cause a worldwide domino effect.

Sorkin said he is going back to his editors to discuss whether some sort of clarification is needed.

Everyone got that?

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Bristol Herald Courier wins a Pulitzer!

Click here for the 2009 winners.

Click here for the Bristol Herald winner.

It is nice to the see the "little guy" get some props.

5 Good Minutes (more or less)

Will The Real Heritage Foundation Please Stand Up?

Jonathon Chait writes about the complete disingenuous nature of the Heritage Foundation here.

He writes.

Lee Fang provides a more recent look at "the beast" in action, applying its high intellectual standards:

– Heritage On Romney’s Individual Mandate: “Not an unreasonable position, and one that is clearly consistent with conservative values.” [Heritage, 1/28/06]
– Heritage On President Obama’s Individual Mandate: “Both unprecedented and unconstitutional.” [Heritage, 12/9/09]
– Heritage On Romney’s Insurance Exchange: An “innovative mechanism to promote real consumer choice.” [Heritage, 4/20/06]

– Heritage On President Obama’s Insurance Exchange: Creates a “de facto public option” by “grow[ing]” government control over healthcare.” [Heritage, 3/30/10]
– Heritage On Romney’s Medicaid Expansion: Reduced “the total cost to taxpayers” by taking people out of the “uncompensated care pool.” [Heritage, 1/28/06]
– Heritage On President Obama’s Medicaid Expansion: Expands a “broken entitlement program,” providing a “low-quality, poorly functioning program.” [Heritage,3/30/10]

What a joke.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

David Brooks is a Douche!

David Brooks writes about how the rich are currently working harder than the poor and middle class. God this guy is a jackass.

Brooks latest column here.

Matt Taibbi's response is classic.

Here is a taste.

Then again, maybe I’m looking at this from the wrong perspective. Would I rather clean army latrines with my tongue, or would I rather do what Brooks does for a living, working as a professional groveler and flatterer who three times a week has to come up with new ways to elucidate for his rich readers how cosmically just their lifestyles are? If sucking up to upper-crust yabos was my actual job and I had to do it to keep the electricity on in my house, then yes, I might look at that as work.

But it strikes me that David Brooks actually enjoys his chosen profession. In fact, he strikes me as the kind of person who even in his spare time would pay a Leona Helmsley lookalike a thousand dollars to take a shit on his back. And here he is saying that the reason the poor and the middle classes are struggling is because they don’t work hard enough. Is this guy the best, or what? Does it get any better than this?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Better Way To Deal With Iran

Hit Iran in the Pocket Book.

Here is an article about how a strong Carbon Cap would affect Iran.

With the U.S. in negotiations with China and Russia to build a coalition against Iran in an attempt to set sanctions that will stop Iran's nuclear ambition. The U.S. should also act unilaterally by becoming more energy independent. That starts with a price on carbon.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Newt Gingrich: 4 Falsehoods in 13 Words, Now That's Impressive.

It is nice to have Ezra Klien back from vacation. Today Klien looks at a statement from Newt Gingrich and checks it for lies, with help from

Here is the entire post.

"One of the things in the health bill is 16,000 additional IRS agents,"said Newt Gingrich, echoing the latest GOP talking point. Rep. Paul Ryan joined him, saying the IRS will get "16,000 agents to police this new mandate." But is it true? Well, no. gives you the rundown here, but just for kicks, let's track how an estimate becomes spin becomes a lie becomes a sound bite. First, the estimate: The CBO predicted that costs related to the Affordable Care Act would "probably include an estimated $5 billion to $10 billion over 10 years for administrative costs of the Internal Revenue Service." This money, incidentally, isn't to audit people or go door-to-door enforcing the individual mandate. It's primarily to give subsidies to qualifying small businesses and individuals. But put that aside for the moment.

On March 18, the Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee put out a news release saying the "IRS may need to hire as many as 16,500 additional auditors, agents and other employees." As you might expect, "may" does some heavy lifting here. First, Republicans are using $10 billion, not $5 billion, as the number beneath their estimate. Second, as says, the GOP "simply divided the spending (which they figured could be $1.5 billion per year once the law is fully effective) by the current average payroll cost for the entire IRS workforce."

In other words: No money for desks, office equipment, rent or anything else. Every possible dollar is hiring "IRS agents." And it doesn't account for annual raises. Oh, and before I forget, "agents" is also there to mislead. As notes, "there’s a huge difference between an IRS revenue agent — who calls on taxpayers and conducts face-to-face audits — and the workers who make up the bulk of IRS employees. Those who work at the IRS include clerks, accountants, computer programmers, telephone help line workers and other support staff. In fact, IRS revenue agents make up only 15 percent of the IRS workforce."

So let's go back to Gingrich's original sentence. "One of the things in the health bill is 16,000 additional IRS agents," he said. First, that's not a "thing in the health bill." It's an extrapolation from a CBO report. Second, the word "is" is wrong, as even the original GOP spin only used the word "may." Third, the number 16,000 is wrong. Fourth, the word "agents" is wrong. But if the statement gets no credit for truth, it's at least efficient: Not just anyone could pack four falsehoods into 13 words. But Gingrich, now, he's a professional.

Until I started writing this blog, I never knew Newt was so full of shit. Here is another example of Newt being Newt this time "Death Panels"

Glenn Beck Exposes Himself.

Glenn Beck was interviewed by Forbes regarding Glenn Beck Inc. Here is the article.

Here is the part of the Article I would like the 9-12 Coalition and the Tea Party to read.

With a deadpan, Beck insists that he is not political: "I could give a flying crap about the political process." Making money, on the other hand, is to be taken very seriously, and controversy is its own coinage. "We're an entertainment company," Beck says. He has managed to monetize virtually everything that comes out of his mouth. He gets $13 million a year from print (books plus the ten-issue-a-year magazineFusion). Radio brings in $10 million. Digital (including a newsletter, the ad-supported and merchandise) pulls in $4 million. Speaking and events are good for $3 million and television for $2 million.

Beck is inciting the riot for one reason. It gets him rich.

5 Good Minutes (more or less)

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Michael Steele Plays the Race Card
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Self Proclaimed Climate Denier Blankenship, Apparently Believes Safety Regulations Are Government Lies as Well.

Rolling Stone listed Don Blankenship as one of 17 "Climate Killers" which consists of polluters and deniers hell bent on derailing the efforts to mitigate Global Climate Change.

Rolling Stone wrote Jan 6, 2010.

The country's highest-paid coal executive, Blankenship is a villain ripped straight from the comic books: a jowly, mustache-sporting, union-busting coal baron who uses his fortune to bend politics to his will. He recently financed a $3.5 million campaign to oust a state Supreme Court justice who frequently ruled against his company, and he hung out on the French Riviera with another judge who was weighing an appeal by Massey. "Don Blankenship would actually be less powerful if he were in elected office," Rep. Nick Rahall of West Virginia once observed. "He would be twice as accountable and half as feared."

Fast Forward to now. Don Blankenship is CEO of Massey which owns the Mine in West Virginia where 25 miners were killed in an accident from a Methane explosion.

Rolling Stone writes today.

News of the nation’s worst coal-mining disaster in a quarter century — a methane explosion that killed at least 25 miners in West Virginia — has been accompanied by revelations that the mine in question, belonging to a subsidiary of Massey Energy, has an egregious safety record.

57 times in the last month, the mine was cited for safety violations — including for failing to properly ventilate explosive methane.

It seems this was less an accident than an accident waiting to happen.

It seems obvious to me, that the "bottom line" is all that Blakenship and Massey Energy care about. From Safety to Global Climate Change nothing is truth except the profit margin, external costs be damned.

What Do You Think Of This?

Carbon for Sale!

Paul Krugman writes about the Economics of Climate Change here.

Krugman writes.

this extreme pessimism about the economy’s ability to live with cap and trade — is very much at odds with typical conservative rhetoric. After all, modern conservatives express a deep, almost mystical confidence in the effectiveness of market incentives — Ronald Reagan liked to talk about the “magic of the marketplace.” They believe that the capitalist system can deal with all kinds of limitations, that technology, say, can easily overcome any constraints on growth posed by limited reserves of oil or other natural resources. And yet now they submit that this same private sector is utterly incapable of coping with a limit on overall emissions, even though such a cap would, from the private sector’s point of view, operate very much like a limited supply of a resource, like land. Why don’t they believe that the dynamism of capitalism will spur it to find ways to make do in a world of reduced carbon emissions? Why do they think the marketplace loses its magic as soon as market incentives are invoked in favor of conservation?

This is a wonderful article framing the issue of Climate Change in a real world economic context.  Give it a read you will not be sorry you did.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Virginia is for Lovers, and Racists?

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell has re-declared April Confederate History Month, not Civil War History Month. Virginia has decided to celebrate the Confederacy and all the wonder that goes with it. You know like the attempt to break up the greatest Country on Earth, or the defense of the right to keep slaves against their will, in hopes of keeping their personal wealth intact. McDonnell believes the States tourism business will increase because of the declaration.

Sure it will?

I can see African Americans across the Country loading the car for their spring break trip to Virginia.

What a joke.

More on the McDonnell debacle here.

Do Only Anti Capitalists Want Bank Reform?

Matt Taibbi wrote a piece about the looting of Main Street by Wall Street here.

Now he is getting a sort of push back by the right trying to paint his portrayal of the Jefferson County Alabama financial meltdown as an Anti Capitalist rant.

Taibbi wrote about those criticisms yesterday.

Taibbi writes.

I’m getting a lot of this now with the Jefferson County business. The above writer, an intermittently coherent fellow named Richard Fernandez from a thing called Pajamas Media, wrote the excerpted passage in response to a line in my piece about JP Morgan paying Goldman, Sachs $3 million to back out of the Jefferson County deal. The full quote, which includes in the middle a passage from that “Looting Main St.” piece, reads like this:

So how would one keep the tragedy of Jefferson County from being replayed everywhere? Taibbi wonders why no one stopped the train wreck from proceeding.

That such a blatant violation of anti-trust laws took place and neither JP Morgan nor Goldman have been prosecuted for it is yet another mystery of the current financial crisis. “This is an open-and-shut case of anti-competitive behavior,” says Taylor, the former regulator.

Now there’s an idea. Maybe someone can stop Wall Street from corrupting the politicians by putting the politicians in charge of Wall Street. Find someone from Chicago who can do it. Or, if that doesn’t work, abolishing capitalism will get results so that in the first place there’s no money to corrupt anyone. Either more government or no business. That’s sure to work in the same sense that you can avoid cancer entirely by having all your organs removed.

So according to Fernandez, by wondering aloud why two giant mega-companies were not prosecuted for engaging in blatantly anticapitalist behavior, I’m actually advocating the abolition of capitalism. Where do these people come from?

Even after all the things that went on in the past few years, there are still people who defend the sort of fraud and robbery that went on in Jefferson County. Either that or they try to slap on a new take on the story to make it fit the same old red/blue, left/right narrative and distract people from the point, which is that this kind of corruption is a complex symbiosis of public and private interests that does not fit into the simplistic Fox vs. Air America storyline. It is not a liberal/conservative issue — this is about oligarchy, not partisanship — but there are people who insist on trying to make it into a partisan story.

Taibbi is exactly right. It is easier to just call any criticism a "left wing" rant, or "anti capitalist" instead of actually debating the merits of the corruption which the banks were obviously complicit in. Just break it down to Left v. Right and all debate becomes useless.

More on Jefferson County here.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

5 Good Minutes (more or less)

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Inethical Basterds
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorHealth Care Reform

I Can't Believe What I Just Read.

This is from GOP Senator Tom Coburn at an Oklahoma Town Hall meeting, via TPM.

TPM writes.

Hold on to your hats. At a town hall meeting in Oklahoma City last week, staunch conservative Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) defended House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, disparaged Fox News and told a constituent her fears about the health care law were unfounded.

When a woman in the audience asked Coburn if it was illegal for the government to jail citizens for not complying with the new health care law, Coburn responded by blaming TV news, and Fox News in particular, for that false rumor:

"The intention is not to put anybody in jail," Coburn said. "That makes for good TV news on Fox, but that isn't the intention."

Later, when his audience started to boo at the mention of Pelosi, Coburn stopped them.

"Come on now... how many of you all have met her? She's a nice person," Coburn said. "Just because somebody disagrees with you, doesn't mean they're not a good person."

"Don't catch yourself being biased by Fox News that somebody's no good," Coburn added.

Coburn urged audience members to widen their points of view by reading and watching different media outlets, not just the ones they agree with.

"Don't just watch Fox News or CNN, watch them both," Coburn said. He said he read both The Washington Post and The New York Times -- plus The Wall Street Journal -- and urged his audience to do likewise. "Listen to the other side, because what it does, it makes you a better person."

Now that may actually be a sign of the Apocalypse.

Monday, April 5, 2010

We Gave Reagan 3 Years, Yet Obama has Already Failed?

Saw This in The Daily KOS.

The unemployment rate in Reagan's second year - a full year after his tax cuts for the top 1% - rose to a post WW2 high of 10.8%. According to Gallup, only one third approved of the way he was handling the economy, with the deficit exploding due to his tax cuts benefiting the wealthy.

At the beginning of '83, his approval rating fell to a low of 35%.

The economy, and Reagan's approval, only started to improve in his third year.

01/1981 - Unemployment rate 7.5% .... Reagan sworn in.
02/1981 - 7.4%
03/1981 - 7.4%
04/1981 - 7.2%
05/1981 - 7.5%
06/1981 - 7.5%
07/1981 - 7.2%
08/1981 - 7.4% *Reagan cuts taxes for top 1% & says unemployment will DROP to 6.9%.
09/1981 - 7.6%
10/1981 - 7.9%
11/1981 - 8.3%
12/1981 - 8.5%
01/1982 - 8.6%
02/1982 - 8.9%
03/1982 - 9.0%
04/1982 - 9.3%
05/1982 - 9.4%
06/1982 - 9.6%
07/1982 - 9.8%
08/1982 - 9.8%
09/1982 - 10.1%
10/1982 - 10.4%
11/1982 - 10.8%

This is Why Reagan couldn't blame Carter for the Economy.

The Right Wing News Media, acts as if as soon as Reagan hit office the seas parted, and the birds sang, and America was saved. When in fact it took quite a while for any economic success during his first term as President. But we live in a twenty four hour news cycle, and Obama is a failure because we have not dug out from under a much worse recession in less time.

It has been just over a year since the worst economic crisis since the great depression. Maybe we should not look for a miracle but a slow road to recovery.

Wait what does this look like?

Oh My God....We are progressing....

Who Knew?

Steele Plays The Race Card, While On The Hot Seat.

Talking Points Memo writer John Marshall weighs in on the Michael Steele GOP debacle.

He writes.

But let's be honest: everything about Michael Steele's tenure running the RNC is about race.

Michael Steele got the job for one reason: Republicans needed someone who could be the point man for bashing Barack Obama while being immune not only from charges of racism but any discussion of the fact that the current GOP is a party made up pretty much 100% of white folks. As is common with Republicans, Steele is the mirror image, ersatz Obama. Whatever else you can say about the 44th president, in the 2008 campaign and to a great degree still, he was a phenomenon, a meteoric political figure whose power on the political stage was much greater than the sum of his parts.

Marshall points out how transparent the move to hire Steele was, and how it will be hard to fire him for the same reasons.

In different ways race played into the Obama phenomenon. But Republicans were always basically full of it and barking up the wrong tree when they tried to claim either that Democrats picked Barack Obama because he was black or that he was winning because he was black. So what did the Republicans do: turn around and hire someone to lead their party pretty much for the sole reason that he was black. As is so often the case, the critics of racial progress, because they don't comprehend it, resort to a parody of it.

Steele was hired because he was black. And the other truth is that now he can't be fired, in significant measure, because he's black. Because canning Steele now would only drive home the reality that Republicans were trying to paper over, fairly clumsily, when they hired him in the first place. So Republicans are stuck with his myriad goofs and #pressfails and incompetent management and all the rest because of a set of circumstances entirely of their own making.

Steele on GMA.