Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for December 9th, 2008

Bus's exit strategy
icon Download | Play icon Download | Play

MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer yesterday was discussing George W. Bush’s plan to let the EPA rule against cleaning up perchlorate from Americans’ drinking water, even though its toxic effects are well documented.

Even John Feehery, the “Republican strategist” brought on to explain this last-minute ugliness, admitted:

Once again, I don’t know the specifics of this particular one, but it doesn’t really sound good, does it, Contessa?

Brewer later returns to Feehery and asks:

Brewer: John, do you think there should be some shame in a president doing something like this? It reminds me of the big scandal that erupted when Clinton was leaving office with all the pardons. You know, why are you gonna do something in your — the very last few weeks that just … makes you look bad?

Simple answer: Because George W. Bush doesn’t care what you think. He never has.

If you want more information on Bush’s vandalism of the American political landscape on his way out the door, check out the Pro Publica site with a complete rundown.

Its first entry is on perchlorate:

At Issue: Perchlorate is a chemical component of rocket fuel that can contaminate water both naturally and, more frequently, through improper disposal at rocket test sites, military bases and chemical plants. Cleaning it up would cost billions of dollars. But the contaminant has been linked to thyroid problems in young children, pregnant woman and newborns, leaving critics concerned for the developmental health of those most vulnerable to the chemical’s effects.

Here’s the EPA’s official justification:

Continue reading »

Read Full Post »

White House, Congress hammer out auto bailout

The White House Tuesday demanded that Detroit automakers prove their “long-term viability” in return for a 15-billion-dollar rescue bailout but said a deal with Congress was in sight.

President George W. Bush’s administration is making “good progress” in its talks with congressional leaders over legislation to shore up General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino told reporters.

“We are still working through a number of issues, some of them just small and technical, and other ones a little bit more meaty in scope, but, all in all, making sure we’re headed in the right direction,” she said.

But Perino stressed: “Our insistence that long-term viability be reflected in the legislation is something that we have held very strong feelings about, and that has not changed.

“There will not be long-term financing if they cannot prove long-term viability.”

Short-term loans of 15 billion dollars are meant to sustain the car giants through March, allowing president-elect Barack Obama time to address their crisis after he takes office on January 20.

GM and Chrysler are first in line after warning they are fast running out of cash. Ford, though equally hampered by slumping sales, says it faces no immediate liquidity crisis but wants a nine-billion-dollar line of credit.

While the Democratic-led Congress was ready to extend a larger amount of aid, the Bush administration has balked at giving any more than 15 billion and insists — like Obama — that the automakers must retool for the long haul.

White House and congressional negotiators held talks late into Monday and the emerging total proposed is less than half of the 34 billion dollars the auto giants say they would need to stave off a “catastrophic collapse.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said late Tuesday morning: “I’m confident that those matters can be resolved within the next hour or so.”

But Perino said that “while we’re working fast, we want to get it right.”

“So I wouldn’t read into anything if we don’t get it all finalized today.”

The proposed legislation calls for a presidential appointee, or “car czar,” to oversee the overhaul of the Big Three US automakers, which have been losing ground for years to their Japanese rivals.

In return for the loans, the government would get an equity stake and the automakers would have to improve their fleets’ fuel-efficiency and also examine using their excess capacity to build bus and rail cars for public transit.

The bill also requires the automakers to sell their private jets and places strict limits on executive compensation, similar to a recent bailout for financial firms buffeted by the global credit crunch and toxic mortgage loans.

House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday Congress expects stakeholders in the industry — including bosses, union members, shareholders, car dealers and suppliers — to make sacrifices for the bailout.

“We call this the barbershop,” Pelosi said. “Everybody’s getting a haircut here, in terms of the conditions of the bill,” she said, adding: “The management itself has to take a big haircut on all of this.”

Obama has called a collapse of the auto industry “unacceptable,” and said Sunday he wanted a supervisory process that would hold the companies’ “feet to the fire.”

GM, which had warned it could run out of cash as early as January, urged swift passage of the bill and vowed it will “abide by the conditions proposed in the bill and will continue our restructuring with great urgency.”

Chrysler made similar noises while Ford, the second-biggest US automaker after GM, said: “Our industry is highly interdependent and a failure of one of our competitors could affect us all.”

Read Full Post »

Following Blagojevich Arrest, Obama Senate Seat Put On eBay

Huffo Pos- Sam Stein

December 9, 2008 01:51 PM

Various elements of the Rod Blagojevich arrest today are unavoidably humorous — whether it is his completely cynical approach to politics, the idea that he was even considering a possible run for President in 2016, his wife’s disdain for the Chicago Cubs, or the fact that he and his aides contemplated shaking down Warren Buffett for cash (allegedly, of course).

In fact, when authorities rang Blagojevich this morning to let him know that they were coming to arrest him, he responded: “Is this a joke?”

There was an almost cartoonish-aspect to the corruption exhibited by the Illinois Governor. And now, that buffoonery has rubbed off on all aspects surrounding the case. On eBay, a poster from Illinois has put up a listing for the United States Senate Seat, a nod to the auction that Blagojevich was apparently hoping to host from within the confines of his own office.

The current bid is a mere $0.99 cents. And the end time for the bid is December 19, 2008.

Read Full Post »

Court to Larry Craig: You’re still guilty

Think Progress- By Ryan Powers at 2:10 pm

Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) will not be allowed to withdraw his 2007 guilty plea to “disorderly conduct after he was arrested last year in a bathroom at Minneapolis–St. Paul International Airport by an undercover policeman.” The court ruled that Craig’s rights had not been violated and that his guilty plea was “accurate, voluntary and intelligent.” Additionally, the “court upheld the government’s power to ban ’sexual solicitations’ in a public restroom, rejecting Craig’s claim that the law violates freedom of expression.” Craig issued a statement of his displeasure in response.

Read Full Post »


Ella Fitzgerald- Sleigh Ride

Read Full Post »

Gideon Rachman | Financial Times | December 8 2008 19:13

6bc93a52-c549-11dd-b516-000077b076581

I have never believed that there is a secret United Nations plot to take over the US. I have never seen black helicopters hovering in the sky above Montana. But, for the first time in my life, I think the formation of some sort of world government is plausible.

A “world government” would involve much more than co-operation between nations. It would be an entity with state-like characteristics, backed by a body of laws. The European Union has already set up a continental government for 27 countries, which could be a model. The EU has a supreme court, a currency, thousands of pages of law, a large civil service and the ability to deploy military force.

So could the European model go global? There are three reasons for thinking that it might.

First, it is increasingly clear that the most difficult issues facing national governments are international in nature: there is global warming, a global financial crisis and a “global war on terror”.

Second, it could be done. The transport and communications revolutions have shrunk the world so that, as Geoffrey Blainey, an eminent Australian historian, has written: “For the first time in human history, world government of some sort is now possible.” Mr Blainey foresees an attempt to form a world government at some point in the next two centuries, which is an unusually long time horizon for the average newspaper column.

But – the third point – a change in the political atmosphere suggests that “global governance” could come much sooner than that. The financial crisis and climate change are pushing national governments towards global solutions, even in countries such as China and the US that are traditionally fierce guardians of national sovereignty. (more…)

Read Full Post »

George Washington’s Blog | Tuesday, Dec 09, 2008

There are only a handful of people who predicted this financial crisis, or at least its severity.

What are they predicting now?

Peter Schiff and Ron Paul

Schiff, the manager of over $1 billion dollars in investments, says the U.S. will enter a long period which could be worse than the Great Depression.

Schiff also thinks that the economic crisis might lead to martial law.

He thinks that Asia and Europe, after a period of economic downturn, will “decouple” from the U.S., eventually enjoying great prosperity long before the U.S. recovers.

Schiff has admitted that he did not foresee the current rally in the dollar, and his investors – long in Asian and European stocks – are way down.

Schiff was Ron Paul’s chief economic advisor during his campaign. Paul has himself predicted the crisis for many years, and has warned that America is spending more than it can afford. Paul has also repeatedly warned of martial law. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: