by Deb Cupples| Two interesting things happened yesterday: 1) the U.S. House voted against a bill that would have funneled 700+ Billion tax dollars partly into the pockets of banking executives who helped drive our nation's economy to the cliff's edge; and 2) the Dow Jones Industrial Average (Dow) nose-dived, because masses of stock owners apparently rushed to sell off their shares -- thereby driving down stock prices.
Some media carelessly discussed the two events in a way that implied that the House vote had caused the Dow to dive. For example, CNN stated:
The Fed increased its existing currency swaps with foreign
central banks by $330 billion to $620 billion to make more
dollars available worldwide. The Term Auction Facility, the Fed's
emergency loan program, will expand by $300 billion to $450
billion. The European Central Bank, the Bank of England and the
Bank of Japan are among the participating authorities. (Bloomberg)
by Damozel | This piece is cathartic. Rich---a/k/a "The Butcher of Broadway"---analyzes McCain's brand of political performance art as exemplified by his "suspension" last week of the campaign. It pulls together every single thing you thought but couldn't quite articulate with how every bit of further posturing by McCain reveals him to be less and less credible as a candidate for the presidency....never mind Sarah Palin.
It's like this is one of those lame, written-by-a-committee political comedies where the bad pols are so clownishly over the top that the story is drained of any vestige of enjoyable tension and you can see the jokes lurching toward you like zombies from half an hour away.
But this is reality and in reality, the Republicans have been shockingly successful at marketing ineptness and political theater as down-to-earth courageous "straight talk" and passionate, square-jawed conviction.
by Deb Cupples| This was announced on September 24, but I didn't catch it then. I was too busy focusing on the Bush Administration's attempts to dupe Congress into funneling 700+ billion tax dollars to Wall Street executives who drove our nation's economy toward the cliff's edge. That and I was craning my neck to witness the simultaneously frightening and amusing spectacle of some members of Congress contorting like yogis while attempting to politically posture.
That said, last week, the U.S. House finally passed legislation intended to reform government contracting practices. I say "finally," because it should have been done years ago -- if not after Columbia HCA settled a record $1.7 billion on Justice Department health-care fraud suits, then surely after companies like Halliburton/KBR graced headlines after routinely overcharging us taxpayers by millions of dollars under Iraq-war-related contracts.
by Damozel | During the debate, I was squirming with exasperation that Obama didn't call McCain out on this point.
As ThinkProgress has frequentlynoted, the “great general” to whom McCain referred – David Petraeus – has explicitly suggested not using the language McCain seems so fond of. “This is not the sort of struggle where you take a hill, plant the flag and go home to a victory parade…
it’s not war with a simple slogan,” Petraeus said. He added that he
doesn’t think he’ll ever use the word, citing the “need for real
restraint” in public pronouncements.
A couple of weeks ago, we posted the video of him speaking frankly to the BBC. Never mind; here it is again
after the jump. Petraeus, who understands that the whole center
could drop out of the "fragile" peace in Iraq, any time, saying exactly
what TP says he says.
by Teh Nutroots |At TMV, Patrick Edaburn has the story:
In a major upset, the US House of Representatives has voted against
passage of the $700 billion bailout bill. The vote was 228-205 against.
Democrats voted 141-94 in favor of the measure while Republicans voted
131-67 in opposition to the proposal. There are now discussions as to
whether or not a new vote sometime later today.
Reacting to the news, the Dow Jones is down by a range of 400-600
points. At one point the drop was over 700 points so it does seem that
the market is stabilizing somewhat....(More).
by Deb Cupples| My mood has been heavy, due to my focus on the Bush Administration's apparently successful attempts to dupe Congress into funneling 700+ billion tax dollars into the pockets of Wall Street executives who helped drive our nation's economy toward the cliff's edge -- while said execs personally pocketed billions.
What better source of levity than Tina Fey, on Saturday Night Live, playing the part of Sarah Palin during her Katie Couric interview? (Video from Huffington Post, via Memeorandum.)
by Deb Cupples | We ordinary taxpayers are outraged by the Bush Administration's attempt to funnel 700+ billion tax dollars into the pockets of Wall Street executives who helped drive our nation's economy toward the cliff's edge.
Both parties' congressional leaders reportedly came to a tentative agreement regarding the bailout plan. Instead of appropriating $700+ billion now, they've agreed to give Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson $250 billion now, $100 billion later (if the White House certifies the need -- whatever that means), and another $350 billion if Congress feels generous.
by Deb Cupples| A bit of background: in 2007, ex-Deputy Attorney General James Comey testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that in
2004, after Comey refused to re-authorize the Bush Administration's warrantless wiretapping
program due to possible illegality, then-White House Counsel Alberto
Gonzales went to then-Attorney General John Ashcroft's post-surgery
hospital room to pressure an extremely groggy Ashcroft to "to overrule Comey's decision" (The Hill).
by Deb Cupples| As everyone now knows, the Bush Administration wants to funnel 700+ billion tax dollars to Wall Street firms and execs that helped drive our nation's economy toward the cliff's edge (partly by re-packaging, over-valuing, and selling mortgages).
The Republican Administration seems amenable to "compromising" with congressional Democrats (who want greater accountability and oversight) and with congressional Republicans (who are preoccupied, at present, with bizarre political posturing).
by Deb Cupples| The Atlanta-Constitution Journal reports:
"Former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich, whose criticism helped
spark a GOP revolt against the bail-out of Wall Street proposed by the
Bush Administration, predicted Saturday that House Republicans would
reluctantly support legislation that permits the federal government to
purchase and isolate the tainted mortgages at the root of the current
"But Gingrich had harsh words for President Bush, who he said doesn’t
understand the situation, and for Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who
the former speaker said — for the first time — should resign."
by Damozel | This is a sad day and a great loss to us all. Paul Newman was a charismatic, enthralling actor. Many of his characters became American icons. Our condolences to Mr. Newman's family, friends and fans.
Much more than that, Paul Newman was a true humanitarian, who actually devoted his time and money to bettering the lives of people in need. The company that Mr. Newman founded 25 years ago (Newman's Own) has generated and donated more than $250 million in proceeds to charities.
Though Newman's company and foundation still live on, our world will be lesser for Newman's absence. There's a bit on Mr. Newman's career and personal life after the jump.