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    • Looks like Scottish Independence is a “No”
      The calls are coming in. Assuming they are correct, I think this vote is a mistake, and I note that having been given a clean vote to leave and a chance to live their own values, but having given in to fear; for me, at least, Scottish complaints about privatization of the NHS and other [...]
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Ooo, look what I found

This is one of HRC’s appearances on the morning talk shows during the financial crisis of 2008. This entry is dated September 23, 2008. It was almost a month after the nomination so nobody was listening to her anyway. You might have missed this if you had been waiting to hear what the lightbringer would say.

Here’s another video from the Today Show from the very same day:

And another from Morning Joe. Well, no wonder no one was paying attention to her. All she wanted to do was bailout homeowners and hold the banks accountable. That’s all she said all fricking day long, over and over and over again. Booooooring.

And here’s one from CNN’s American Morning. Homeowner mortgages, nag, nag, nag. Conflict of interest provisions for the Treasury Department officials who will oversee the bailout money? Please. (Anyway, it was just a lucky guess on her part.)

Must be really frustrating to know what has to be done and have some schmoozer and his financial backers standing in the way of the controls. Kinda like one of those heartbreaking scenes in a blockbuster movie when the good character gets killed off and the not-so-good character has to undergo a crisis of conscience deciding whether to carry on the legacy- and then doesn’t. It’s a dark, dystopian film with lots of rain or scary looking men in long black cloaks.

Well, we don’t all get the government we deserve but we sure do get the one we voted for.

D’OH! A Round up of left blogosphere posts

The liberal blogosphere is hitting its stride today.  No, I’m not talking about the “A-List” bloggers.  They shot their wads in 2008.  No one goes there anymore.

Here’s a round up of some posts worth reading and one that deserves a dope slap:

1.) Anglachel’s back!  And she’s got some great posts from sunny California where Governor Moonbeam is taking on Meg “the Whore” Whitman.  Some juicy nuggets from Unforced Errors include:

Given that Hillary wiped the floor with The Precious in California in the primary back then and given the high proportion of female Democratic office holders, party functionaries and voters in California, you’d think Gov. Moonbeam would have the sense God gave geese and be very certain not to allow a breath of anything in or around his campaign that would hint of sexism or misogyny. That he and his staffers do not “get it” is the political problem. There is also the strategic problem that they have shut down attention to Whitman’s Arianna Huffington-esque “nanny problem”that was keeping her on the defensive.

It also follows on the heels of Jerry making an ass of himself by attacking Bill Clinton after a series of clever ads by Whitman, with Moonbeam offering rude and crude comments about the Lewinsky mess. Big Dog had to come in and save Jerry’s ass as well as showing the fool how an expert handles these things. Bill just smiled and thanked Whitman for bringing him back to the attention of the California electorate – with special thanks for bringing such a young and good looking version of himself back – and exclaimed about how popular he was and how much people were talking about him now, which forced a comparison between the peace and prosperity of his administration and the Republican mess that followed. He made the target of his attack the Republican record, not Jerry Brown’s petulance over a decades old loss.

Further, the use of the term whore (sorry, I won’t call it “the w-word”) wasn’t an outburst in the midst of a heated debate, but calmly put forth as a deliberate strategic move. How anyone could think that publicly calling a female opponent a whore could be a winning or advantageous strategy boggles the imagination.

Wow!  Jerry Brown dissed the Big Dawg after all he’s done for him?!  I guess no good deed goes unpunished.  Stunning.  Go read it and the other posts she’s written lately.  They are a things of beauty.  (Er, but skip her posts on gadgets.  Them she doesn’t do so well.)

2.) Ian Welsh has a call to arms for the left in  Repudiating Liberalism or Obama.  You can’t serve two masters and as Peter Daou wrote yesterday, “If you stand up for your principles, you may lose the election but keep your principles; if you ditch your principles, you’ll lose both”.  Like us, Ian saw the writing on the wall early and tried to persuade the blogosphere to get tough with Obama.  Like us, he was martyred for it (though I think we’re still feeling the effects of the flaying while Ian is being rehabilitated.  Go figure…):

If Obama was seen as liberal, and his policies then failed, liberalism would be discredited.  It must be made clear, starting as soon as possible, that he was not a liberal and that liberals and progressives repudiated him.  A few people doing it in 2010, mostly half-heartedly, when he had already been seen to fail, simply looks like rats deserting a sinking ship, as it did when conservatives in 2007 started saying Bush wasn’t actually a conservative.

I lost that argument.  Frankly, opinion leaders aren’t willing to take those risks.  They saw that Obama was popular with the base, that everyone was still in “hope without reason” mode, and even when they agreed (and some did) that his policies were a failure, that he’d betray unions, that he was going to be a disaster on civil rights, they wouldn’t do it. “The audience isn’t there yet.”

The art of opinion leadership had become “see where the mob is going, get out in front and pretend you lead them there.”

So be it.

What is done is done.  What needs to be done is this.  The liberal wing of the Democratic party must be SEEN to take out Obama.  There must be a primary challenge.  If there is not, liberalism will be discredited for at least a decade, time America cannot afford, since liberal solutions work and conservative solutions,  whether pushed by right wing Dems or Republicans, don’t.

Are you a liberal first, or a Democrat?  You can’t be both

Basically, Obama is taking down liberalism. He crippled the left in 2008 with the help of “male graduate student syndrome” (courtesy Anglachel) and the “sports illustrated swimsuit models with PhDs in architecture”, self proclaimed “creative class”, perpetually clueless idiots who rejected Hillary Clinton because they wanted a woman but not THAT woman.  You get the point.  Those guys are still out there.  They still run the party and they are still clueless.  Ian, even if they got a clue and turned on Obama, it’s kind of too late for them.  They’ve lost any credibility they once had.  By the way, Will Bunch will be accusing you of racism any second now.

We need a new left and so far, we’re having trouble getting our act together.  Still, the post is a good one and every word is true.  The left needs to distance itself from the horse it rode in on.

And here’s the Dope Slap

3.) BTD is featuring Kevin Drum and Matt Yglesias in a post titled Making Excuses: HAMP vs. HOLC. By the way, why aren’t there any women writing for money in prestigious journals?  I almost expect to hear “It is written!” in a Monty Pythonesque falsetto.  But I digress.

Kevin and Matt make the lame ass argument that poor widdle Obama couldn’t have done more than the destructive and useless HAMP program because regular Americans didn’t want to see their neighbors get a break.  BTD answers:

Interesting how the bank bailouts went through and bank friendly policies have been followed by the Obama Administration despite their unpopularity but homeowner friendly policies were just too tough politically no? FTR, I support and supported TARP, but not the no strings TARP that was executed by the Obama Administration (in my view the saved banks should have been required to own up to their losses, engage in mortgage modifications and generally loosen credit. Just as this was no time for fiscal restraint, it was no time to tighten credit.)

In the end, what was the best political move for the Obama Administration in the first hundred days? The answer seems obvious to me – enact and execute policies that would do the most to lift the economy. That simply didn’t happen. The best example is the egregiously bad HAMP policy. The problem with HAMP was similar to that the entire Obama Administration policy towards the banks has- a dependence on the banks themselves. HAMP did not and will not work because in order for it to work, the banks must take a hit voluntarily. They will never do that.

There was no political reason, none whatsoever, that instead of HAMP, the Obama Administration did not instead create a new HOLC. The Obama Administration, guided by the bumbling incompetent Tim Geithner, chose to coddle the banks instead.

Drum and Yglesias’ excuse making for this failure is utter nonsense.

Yes, BTD, the excuses are twaddle.  But what excuse do you have for rejecting Hillary, except that she wasn’t the Media Darling?  Take a look at this interview she did with Maria Baritoromo during the primary season.  (and take note of how Baritoromo is short, snippy and impatient with Clinton.  Hillary deserved more respect than this but this is a stunning reminder of what she and we put up with):

Hillary and Obama were not the same.  They didn’t have the same policy goals.  We could see it.  BTD needs a dope slap to see it too.  Oh, but he’ll make some cynical, jaded remark about how all politicians are the same and they’ll all let you down in the end.  Know what?  I would have gladly taken that risk with Clinton.  She was prescient.  Obama acted like he didn’t have a care in the world and he governs that way.

As Ian says, bring on Obama’s primary challenger.  Preferably someone who is willing to stick to principle, come hell or high water.

So, sports fans, what have you found in your trip around the web?

Monday: Bi-Partisan Bank Robbery?

I don’t pretend to understand Credit Derivative Swaps and financial ‘instruments’ and it looks like the people who have been playing with them for the past eight years don’t understand them either.  But we better all get some ejucashun and nollij about them toot sweet because Treasury Secretary Paulson is about to give clean out the treasury to bail Bush’s buddies out of trouble.  Well, we can hardly blame them. Opportunities like these don’t come around often and time is running out.

We should have seen this coming.  The Bushies have been looting ever since they took office.  If they’re not saddling us with tremendous debt from some unnecessary war and loading up planes full of money to Iraq, they are rewarding their lobbyist friends with sweetheart deals.  They’ve really exceeded their daily chutzpah with the last one.  If you have been following Anglachel’s Journal for the past couple of days the plan is clear and the fix is in.  It sounds like Paulson is planning to hand over $700 billion dollars of your hard earned tax dollars to the firms on Wall Street to buy their assets.  The claim is that this will prevent a massive financial meltdown and Depression.  Under that scenario, we the people should expect something in return, like, I dunno, greater oversight?  Accountability?  Regulation?  Nope.  Paulson is saying we should just give these people the money and trust them.  AND instead of asking some of them to take what is “fair market value” for their depreciated real estate assets, which would mean they are perhaps 35-40% underwater, Paulson has decided to give them greater than market value for these turkeys.

But wait!  There’s more.  If you been paying attention, Hillary Clinton has been proposing something like the Home Owners Loan Corporation (HOLC) where the government would restructure and refinance bad mortgages from individual homeowners and make them affordable.  The theory goes that if those homeowners are able to pay their loans at more reasonable rates, the money would start flowing back to the banks, increasing their solvency.   And not only is this a beautiful theory, it has actually been done before- successfully.  It was implemented during the Great Depression.

Of course, that would mean that the banks would take a loss on some of their investment ‘instruments’(God, I hate jargon.  Why not just call it a con game and get on with it?).  And the financial institutions would prefer that YOU the taxpayer is stuck holding the bag, not them the royal f%($-ups.  It *seems* like this was their plan all along.  Play with other people’s money, suck up all the extra liquidity there is in the economy, deregulate everything and when it looks like the whols she-bang is about to go under, scream that the sky is falling so citizens panic about their money and the Treasury cuts yet another sweet heart deal that leaves the rich guys off the hook.

We can’t let it happen this time, guys.  If the economy is really on the verge of collapse, then the financial institutions have to make sacrifices just like everyone else in order to fix it.  Otherwise, the FDIC will be wiped out and everyone’s money is at risk.  Not that Mr. Moneybucks cares.  He’s got his.  You get yours whatever way you can.  If you don’t have friends in high places, tough noogies.  Well, we DO have some friends in high places.  Hillary has a plan, but doesn’t she always?  The question is, will the rest of Congress get religion and where do Obama and McCain stand on the issue?  We need to hold their feet to the fire.  On that note, Sarah at Corrente has some suggestions:

First, and foremost, write and call and email — not just one, but all three — your representatives. Local, state, and federal. Send copies of your letters to the media. Demand Bu$hco’s bailout plan be scuttled NOW.
Second, get out of debt. If you’re contemplating buying something on credit, hold off 30 days.
Third, make sure any checking or savings accounts you have are within the limits of and with institutions covered by the FDIC. If you’re one of the lucky few who’ll have to move some money to do this, get after it.

And in the latest twist, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have transformed themselves from investment banks to bank holding companies subject to greater regulation.  That initially sounds good but there’s a catch:

In exchange for subjecting themselves to more regulation, the companies will have access to the full array of the Federal Reserve’s lending facilities. It should help them avoid the fate of Lehman Brothers, which filed for bankruptcy last week, and Bear Stearns and Merrill Lynch — both of which agreed to be acquired by big bank holding companies.

So, it looks like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley remain intact, just in time, and avoid acquisition by other banks because they are able to rely on the Federal Reserve to rescue them before they are declared insolvent.  Sweeeet!  Must be nice to have a sugar daddy in government.  Oh, you don’t have one?  That’s because you are supposed to be self-reliant!  Responsible!  A rugged individualist!  It builds character when you have to pull yourself up by your bootstraps.  What?  You haven’t got any boots?  Well, whose fault is that?  This isn’t socialism, ya’ know.

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