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Cheney and the Goat Devil

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

By Maureen Down
The New York Times


I was dubious about Will Ferrell doing his Bush impersonation one more time on Broadway.

As we lurch through the disasters bequeathed by W. — the economy tanking, 17,000 more troops going to Afghanistan, Chrysler pleading for a total of $9 billion — would audiences still laugh at Ferrell’s lovable fool of a president?

I was wrong. The audience for the Sunday matinee of “You’re Welcome America. A Final Night with George W Bush” howled in delight.

I asked Adam McKay, the former head writer of “Saturday Night Live” who directed and co-wrote the show with Ferrell, why people respond this way to one of the worst presidents ever.

“He’s so clearly a neglected 13-year-old that there’s something really kind of heartbreaking about him,” McKay said, calling him “a good-time Charlie” who was “just used his whole life to front questionable business endeavors, and in a way that’s what his presidency was.

“He doesn’t have Cheney’s cartoonish need for power and greed that’s so off the charts you don’t even understand how Cheney got that way. W. may have some awareness, deep down inside, sort of like a petulant teenager who just flunked the trig quiz and knows he screwed up. I think Cheney not only knows but is delighted with everything he did, as is Rumsfeld.”...(Click for remainder).

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Jane Hamsher: Eric Cantor “HAS NO BUSINESS” being in a leadership position

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Rick Sanchez wags his finger at Marsha Blackburn

By Scarce
Crooks and Liars Video Cafe
(Video from cspanjunkie)




Rick Sanchez mildly rebukes Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn) for her continued wingnuttery. As the republicans get all self-righteous about a stimulus bill which is supposed to aid an economy decimated by eight years of foolishness by the Bush administration, House Republicans practice revisionist history to minimize their own collosal failure. These proud "fiscal conservatives" [sic] let the Bush mis-administration run wild for eight years, with ne'er a mention of deficits, debt, and not once mentioning something as arcane as balancing the budget. As Dick Cheney said "Deficits don't matter."

Let's go back a bit and examine what Bill Clinton left for the incoming Bush administration:

--A $230 billion surplus, with a projected elimination of the national debt by 2012. [Bush's tax cuts nixed that idea rather quickly.]

--A total national debt of $5.6 trillion.

Barack Obama inherits a deficit projected to be well over $1 trillion and growing for 2009. The national debt now stands at $10.7 trillion, or nearly double what is was in 2000. That is $37,703 for every man, woman, and child in the U.S.


Increases in the National Debt Chart

(Click for original post).

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"On the Origin of Republicans" by R.J. Matson

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Colorado gay-rights bill wins first round

By Steven K. Paulson
Associated Press via The Aspen Times


DENVER — A bill making it easier for gays and lesbians to leave property to their partners and visit each other in the hospital is closer to approval in the Colorado Legislature.

The measure was approved by the House Judiciary Committee Monday and sent to the full House for debate.

It would allow any two unmarried people to sign up to be the other's designated beneficiaries.

Rep. Bob Gardner, a Republican from Colorado Springs, strongly opposed the bill, calling it an attempt to circumvent Colorado voters, who rejected civil unions and defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

"This is a de facto civil union bill," Gardner told the committee.

Rep. Mark Ferrandino, a Denver Democrat who is openly gay, rejected that suggestion, telling the committee, "voters have taken the ability of same sex marriage away from us."

"We are basically giving them rights, no more rights than anyone else in Colorado," Ferrandino said.

Under the bill, beneficiaries would get a range of rights, including hospital visitations. Others include being able to decide funeral arrangements and inheriting property when there's no will....(Click for remainder).

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Americans United for Change: Recovery

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Whatever Happened to Antitrust?

By Dave Lindorff
After Downing Street


Now here’s a word you’re not hearing in America these days: anti-trust.

The country is being dragged down by monstrous businesses, all of which, we’re told, are just “too big to fail.” As a consequence of this, the nation’s taxpayers, and their progeny born and yet unborn, are having trillions of dollars sucked away to prop up these giant rotting corporate corpses.

Zombie banks, zombie automakers, zombie insurance companies, all bigger than nation states, and all on life-support.

There is a simple answer to this problem. Bust them up.

Looking at the nation’s largest banks—Bank of America, Citicorp, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo and others—it’s clear that some parts of them are functional. They have, for example, massive deposits. They also have massive debts, many of these toxic and pretty much worthless. Instead of bailing these failed institutions out, which is not going to work anyhow, and which only delays and makes more costly the final day of reckoning, the answer is to have the government carve out the profitable banking parts of these financial institutions, and set them up as free-standing banks, and then let the rest of the carcass of each bank go down the tubes, taking gullible shareholders and bondholders with them.

Then the remaining banks left from this process should be broken up by anti-trust actions into regional or even state entities.

There is simply no need for national banks. Such institutions are a disaster for smaller companies and individuals, since they are only really interested in lending to big national or multinational companies. I remember years ago, back in the early 1980s, when bank consolidation was just getting underway, how Citibank began adding fees to its checking services simply because it wanted to drive away small customers. It was an indication of what was coming. Screw the little guy.

It doesn’t matter to large companies if there are no national banks. When they want a big loan, they simply arrange for a syndicate of smaller regional banks to put a package together. That is the way things used to be done, and it can be done again.

Insurance companies too should be broken up. It is ridiculous to have companies the size of AIG or Aetna or Prudential, any of whose failures can threaten the global economy. Again, there is simply no rationale for the existence of such mega-corporations. Insurance companies have ways of sharing risk through reinsurers, so that smaller companies are no more vulnerable to disaster than larger firms. They may, in fact, be less vulnerable, since their managers will be closer to their customers and probably more careful about what they insure and what they invest in.

Finally, let’s look at what used to be called “Detroit.” In its heyday, there were many more car companies than simply three. There were American Motors, Hudson, Packard, and Studebaker, there was Mack Trucks. Then we had a wave of consolidation and bankruptcy. In the end, several companies—Ford, GM and Chrysler—won the day, but not because they had better products. Rather, they were bigger, and had bigger marketing budgets and more extensive dealership networks. Unable to compete, good companies went bust....(Click for remainder).

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