Thursday, January 29, 2009

Blago Out

Blagojevich is convicted and removed from office by a vote of 59-0.

Bipartisan This!

Good post today on TPM regarding the whole 'bipartisan' scam. My take? Don't trust these morons (the Repugs) to do the right thing (ever!), and when in doubt, vote their asses into submission.

Okay ... so "bipartisanship" means not an exchange of ideas from both parties, or a chance to vote on proposals from both parties, but Democratic agreement on approving the GOP agenda? Good luck with that.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Best Disinfectant

Sen Sheldon Whitehouse, the wonderfully named Senator from RI, gave a barnburner of a speech the other day on the Senate floor, calling for investigation (and presumably) prosecution of the enablers and enactors of torture.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island, a former federal prosecutor and a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in a floor speech, “As the President looks forward and charts a new course, must someone not also look back, to take an accounting of where we are, what was done, and what must now be repaired.”


There's a lot of sentiment to just let this all slide. This is, in my opinion, the absolute worst thing we can do. I'm not one of the big 'tough on criminals' crowd, but if government officials break the law and go unpunished, it damages all of us and sets a precedent for future government officials to do the same.

Some elected reps may be less than enthusiastic for the investigation as they signed off on or just turned a blind eye to the crimes committed in our name. Well, tough shit. Elections have consequences and so to the actions of elected officials; if they acquiesced out of fear or apathy, then they should be exposed and suffer the consequences. We don't elect them to take the safe path, we elect them to do the right thing; when they don't, they should be publicly pilloried and take the consequences (of which they've speaking much lately, in another context!)

As the saying goes "sunlight is the best disinfectant." A wound uncleaned and untreated will fester and corrupt (see the Republicans since the Nixon and Reagan gangs went unpunished). Sometimes sunlight works best, sometimes 10-30 at Leavenworth works too.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Mommy, Why Are People Republicans?

Devilstower at DKos posts today, Bush by the Numbers, and decimates the late, unlamented Deciderer and the Republicans. He goes down the record, using the statistics, and proves once and for all that Repugs suck.

...

Bush wasn't just a Republican president, he was the Republican president. Bush was the guy who took everything on the GOP platform seriously. He went to bat for every idea that ever got the official elephant nuts seal of approval. The record that resulted isn't just a measure of Bush's incompetence, it's a measure of just how bad Republican ideas are in practice.

Republican insistence that the market could be self regulating wrecked the market... as it has every time it's been tried.

Republican insistence that rewarding folks who already had loads of cash was the best way to spark the economy failed to make things better for the average American and widened the gap between rich and poor... as it has every time it's been tried.

Republican insistence that giving the oil companies billions would result in a burst of domestic production failed... as it has every time it's been tried.

Republican insistence that the market alone would position us for our energy future left us more vulnerable to those who control overseas oil resources... as it has every time it's been tried.

Of course, there are plenty of other numbers to track. Illegal signing statements. Violations of the Constitution. Americans and non-Americans killed in an unnecessary war....

Friday, January 23, 2009

Media Mess

I'm not a big media basher, altho I do lay into various MSMers from time to time. Dan Gilmor at TPM has a great post up today berating the media in general for ignoring, abetting, and, finally, capitalizing on the financial meltdown. Worth a read.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

No Mo Gitmo

According to multiple reports, Pres. Obama (God, I love typing that!!!!!!) will sign a Presidential order tomorrow requiring that the Gitmo detention facility (how's that for euphemisms!?!) be closed within one year. All my questions remain, but this is the right move.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

STOP!

Obama calls a halt to all proceedings at Gitmo for 120 days.

The prisoners in Guantanamo are a problem for which I have no easy, pat answers. A large number of them, apparently, have no business being there, and should, in all fairness, be released. Of the remainder, a large number can NOT be tried in any legitimate tribunal, due to government malfeasance, not to mention torture. The remainder probably can and should be tried and sentenced. They are the easy ones to deal with.

The first two groups are problematic. Can we just let them go. Of the first group, there's probably (probably is a key word in all this due to the outrageous treatment of them by the Bush administration clouding so many issues) no major threat. A few of them may be radicalized into action against us, but a few more or less in the sea of enemies won't be noticed. The second group is the most troubling. We can't try them, and we can't safely release them. Yet, we must do one or the other. So where do we go? This will be one of the key questions, and problems, for the nascent administration.

Kennedy and Byrd

Both are reported to be okay. No major details.

Our Long National Nightmare is Over

I'm sitting here, giddy and giggling, and watching Obama say more in ten minutes than Shrub said in eight years. This is an unbelievable day for a boy from Texas who grew up in the sixties. I don't even have words for how moving it is to see Obama sworn in and how happy I am that the Mayberry Machiavellis are gone. Today, I don't even care if they're prosecuted... they are G-O-N-E!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Hang 'Em All?

Well, at least indict them. With the incoming Obama administration waffling on whether or not there should be investigations of the outgoing administration, Paul Krugman weighs in today and says, in no uncertain terms, that we MUST investigate, and prosecute where required.

Now, it's true that a serious investigation of Bush-era abuses would make Washington an uncomfortable place, both for those who abused power and those who acted as their enablers or apologists. And these people have a lot of friends. But the price of protecting their comfort would be high: If we whitewash the abuses of the past eight years, we'll guarantee that they will happen again.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Plane Down

CNBC is reporting that a US Airways plane is down in NYC in the Hudson River. Pictures show an intact, upright tail, but the rescue vehicles are blocking the rest of the plane, so no indication yet as to condition or survivors.

Update: Minor humor update (barring any catastrophic news)... CNBC is going on about how the Airbus 'might' have had Rolls Royce engines... no mention that it 'might' have had GE engines cuz Daddy don't do no wrong......

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

GO VOTE!

One of the things I feel most strongly about in the maelstrom that is our tax system is that the upper limit of SS taxable income should be repealed. It's a tax, not an investment, so limiting the tax on high income earners is both unfair (proportionally) and stupid (let's help finance the damn thing!) If you agree, and I KNOW you do!!!, go and vote at Obama's Citizens' Briefing Book site. And then go through it and vote for other issues that fire you up.

(Cross posted at Precise Walk)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Yikes! Two More Years?

Nouriel Roubini, Cassandra-ish (but lately, right as rain more often than not!) economist, is predicting that we won't see positive economic growth til 2010. Ouch.

The U.S. recession will last two full years, with gross domestic product falling a cumulative 5%, said Nouriel Roubini, chairman of RGE Monitor. Roubini was one of the first economists to predict the recession and the credit crunch stemming from the housing bubble. For 2009, Roubini predicts GDP will fall 3.4%, with declines in every quarter of the year. The unemployment rate should peak at about 9% in early 2010, he said.


Thanks to Chris at Americablog for pointing this out. Ouch!


Thursday, January 08, 2009

DHS Gone?

NYT reports that Obama is planning a major restructuring of the Homeland Security apparatus. It's all a little vague, but even if nothing else changes, can we get rid of the freaking name. It's a little too 'I've been listening to Wagner and drinking schnapps and eyeing that pesky Polish border' for my tastes.

Oh Goodie

Thank God. Uber-mouth Chris Matthews (of MSNBC) is NOT going to run for Senate. It would have been awful to have to oppose the Dem candidate, but I think in Tweety's case, I could have made the effort.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Leave DiFi Alone

Okay, she's my Senator, so maybe I'm not completely objective. But let me state upfront that most of the time, I want to borrow Grover Norquist's fabled bathtub and drown Feinstein in it.

But on the Burris thing, she's basically right. The whole 'lock him out' thing has been a stupid waste of time, energy, and effort, and just makes Harry Reid look stupid and not in control of his house (not that he needs much help with that!)

They're going to end up having to seat him so why not just do it and get it over with. We have bigger fish to fry (the Franken seating for one) and this just distracts us and the Senate from more important things, to no benefit.

Burris In or Out?

AP says In. Politico says (that Reid says) Out.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Branching Out

Due to overwhelming demand (cue snark machine), I'm going to start an investing blog tomorrow. This is more closely related to what I do for a living, altho what I do is more trading/speculating. The blog will touch (very) lightly on the trading side, but concentrate more heavily on heavily on investing. This thing will continue too!

Wish me luck! :)

JEB, We Hardly Knew Ye....

According to WaPo, Jeb Bush is out of the FL Senate race. This is great news for the Dems in FL (and in general, since his skanky butt won't be occupying a seat in the Senate!) as it opens up the Republican primary (what fun!) and means a less than 'super star' candidate for the Dems to run against. It may also help draw some higher profile Dems into the race as the odds of winning just improved.

Monday, January 05, 2009

DOMA Done?

One of the things that annoys me most in life is how often I agree with Bob Barr. God help me! And this morning, he's done it again. His op-ed in the LATimes is his mea culpa over the Defense of Marriage Act, and his call for its repeal. Wow!

Fuck 'Em

There's a lot of noise all over the blogosphere lately about the seeming intent of Obama (never mind Reid and Pelosi.... how I wish we could never mind them....) to seek 'wide' bipartisan support for the bailout package. WHY?

The Repugs are not, ever, never never never never(hold your breath till you turn blue), going to support the bailout; at least, not until it's been neutered and watered down to the point of uselessness and turned into a giant corporate taxcut program. So, why even bother to try??

Get the bills out, straighten out TARP, and if the Repugs obstruct (and if they do, make them actually stand on the floor and filibuster, none of this 'we're gonna...' shit that we've put up with the last two years. If all else fails, just spend the money; it's what Bu$hCo's been doing, so it MUST be legal! Right??

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Just Seat Burris

I don't see any way the Senate gets out of having to seat him; he's been appointed by the legal authority vested with the authority to appoint him (ie, Blagojevich has not been indicted, impeached, convicted, and/or removed from office); he (from all accounts) has not offered anything in exchange for the appointment; and, he's not THAT bad, other than mini-pandering he's doing now, in comparison to his earlier, anti-Blago rhetoric. Not seating him, and making a BIG deal of NOT seating him, is just going to make the Senate Dems look stupid, and lately, they haven't needed much help doing that. Just seat him.

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