Sunday, January 11, 2009

What do you mean there's no one to blame?

January 20th can't come soon enough for most people.

I find myself wondering at the niceness and concern being shown to conservatives and Republicans during this time, but someone pointed out that no one wants to set Bush off on any world destroying tantrums while he still has the power to make us all suffer.

With that, let's take a stroll around and see what we can find.

Unfinished business
by Gene Lyons


No sensible person wants to see the United States become the kind of country
where "regime change" means flinging the party out of power into dungeons.

That said, it's nothing short of pathetic to observe pundits who urged Clinton's impeachment for lying about a private sexual matter rending their garments over the prospect of holding Bush administration insiders responsible for war crimes including kidnapping, torture and even murder.

Excuse me, make that "extraordinary rendition," "enhanced interrogation" and a series of regrettable accidents. Or something. Even the Bush administration seems not to have invented a bureaucratic euphemism for prisoners found beaten to death in solitary confinement. -----

Hypocrisy From the Party of Pork
by Joe Conason


As the government contemplates spending very large sums of money, it is reassuring to know that somebody still worries about waste. Or it would be reassuring, if only that somebody were not Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, who promises that he and his fellow Republicans
will "protect taxpayers against the rush to spend their money."

This loud pledge of thrift and transparency by the GOP leadership might be more persuasive coming from people who had displayed such inclinations anytime before last year's election. But these are the same politicians who squandered astronomical amounts when they controlled the federal budget.

And today, at a moment when economists of all stripes agree that we must spend big and spend fast to forestall a depression, the timing of the Republican conversion is as dubious as its credibility.
To delay the Obama stimulus spending for the sake of partisan posturing is to risk disaster.

The Republicans' sudden reversion to the solemn frugality of their forebears would be amusing were it not so dangerous. Having established a record over the past decade or so as the wildest wastrels in the nation's history, they now present themselves as straight-laced accountants who
simply cannot abide a misspent dime.

Can Labor Revive the American Dream?

By Esther Kaplan


The financial markets are in tatters, consumer spending is anemic and the recession continues to deepen, but corporate America is keeping its eyes on the prize: crushing organized labor. The Center for Union Facts, a business front group, has taken out full-page ads in newspapers linking SEIU president Andy Stern to the Rod Blagojevich scandal. The Chamber of Commerce is capitalizing on the debate over the Big Three bailout to claim that "unions drove the auto companies off the cliff," while minority leader Mitch McConnell and other Republican senators insist on steep wage cuts. A December 10 Republican strategy memo revealed their central obsession: "Republicans should stand firm and take their first shot against organized labor," the memo read. "This is a precursor to card check"--a clear reference to the Employee Free Choice Act.
Incoming Democrats to put a stop to GOP greed and theft of bailout money.


By Caren Bohan and David Lawder
Washington - President-elect Barack Obama and a key Democratic lawmaker revealed plans on Friday to overhaul the government's $700 billion financial rescue fund as a way to aid struggling homeowners and speed the flow of credit.
U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said he was planning to require money be devoted to housing. Aides said Frank's legislation, which would also tighten restrictions on the use of TARP funds by recipients, would demand about $40 billion for foreclosure relief.
Frank's bill lays out some key conditions for the program.

These require the Treasury to develop foreclosure relief plans for owner-occupied homes by March 15 and start committing TARP funds to it by April 1. The plans can include government guarantees for modified loans, paying down second liens and outright loan purchases to bring down payments.

The measure also would toughen executive compensation rules and make some of them retroactive for banks that have already received funds.

"If they don't like it, they can give the money back," Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat, told reporters on Capitol Hill.


I like Baryey Frank!

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