Media Comment & Crimes Social & Political

My Twitterscript of the debate tonight

<![CDATA[Mitch I'm getting back to work on a project now…. debate over, Obama took this one.via Twitter – 7:37pm – Comment
Mitch "Our country's business" is so much more than war, but that is all I hear McCain talk about when he talks about America: fighting.via Twitter – 7:34pm – Comment
Mitch Terry Scherry nodded to Obama at the end of Obama's answer, suggesting he won that one with the questionner.via Twitter – 7:30pm – Comment
Mitch Obama's "all the tools/scalpel" vs. McCain's I'll-take-hammer-to-it generalties is the story of this debate.via Twitter – 7:29pm – Comment

Social & Political

Palin's pal: Anti-American, Iranbuddy

<![CDATA[Salon takes a look at Sarah Palin’s hypocritcal portrayal of Barack Obama as “friend of terrorists.”

“My government is my worst enemy. I’m going to fight them with any means at hand.”
This was former revolutionary terrorist Bill Ayers back in his old Weather Underground days, right? Imagine what Sarah Palin is going to do with this incendiary quote as she tears into Barack Obama this week.
Only one problem. The quote is from Joe Vogler, the raging anti-American who founded the Alaska Independence Party. Inconveniently for Palin, that’s the very same secessionist party that her husband, Todd, belonged to for seven years and that she sent a shout-out to as Alaska governor earlier this year. (“Keep up the good work,” Palin told AIP members. “And God bless you.”)

That’s a “God bless you” aimed at secessionists who, as the article goes on to explain, have solicited the support of the Iranian government to gain United Nations support for Alaskan independence.]]>

Social & Political

Disgusting AIG antics exposed at hearing

<![CDATA[Watching the chairman of Lehman squirm yesterday when asked about his half-billion dollars in pay was fun, but the fact AIG execs are already back to the high-flying lifestyle is simply infuriating.

After Bailout, AIG Executives Head to Resort:
Less than a week after the federal government offered an $85 billion bailout to insurance giant AIG, the company held a week-long retreat for its executives at the luxury St. Regis Resort in Monarch Beach, Calif., running up a tab of $440,000, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) said today at the the opening of a House committee hearing about the near-failure of the insurance giant.
Showing a photograph of the resort, Waxman said the executives spent $200,000 for rooms, $150,000 for meals and $23,000 for the spa.
“Less than a week after the taxpayers rescued AIG, company executives could be found wining and dining at one of the most exclusive resorts in the nation,” Waxman said. “We will ask whether any of this makes sense. “

Waxman should press for criminal investigations as to whether the bailout made this illegal. And, if it didn’t, then we should make it illegal until these companies have paid back every penny of taxpayer money with interest.]]>

Social & Political

An alternative to the bail-out that makes sense

<![CDATA[James K. Galbraith writes in the Washington Post, arguing that, with all the big investment banks gone already, the best move is to fund the FDIC to cover all deposits and just be done with it. Then, take steps to shore up local governments.
It's a thoughtful alternative to buying bad paper. Read, think.]]>

Business Social & Political

Imagine we bailed out homeowners

Economic Social & Political

Legislators from both sides agree: Rip-off

<![CDATA[It may be needed, but the bail-out shouldn't come in the form of a give-away to the banks, Congress says.
This is when the vaunted “bipartisanship” Republicans demand at every turn actually becomes a real debate and negotiation. In this case, the only people in favor of the bail-out in its current form are the Bushies. This is why we need a strong Congress, not a unitary executive.]]>

Social & Political

A broken home

Social & Political

Recovery or double-dip?

Social & Political

Another trillion+ dollars in Bush economic wounds

<![CDATA[When the banking crisis is completely wrapped up, several years from now, we are going to be looking at another trillion dollars in U.S. debt, at least. That’s money coming out of everyone’s pockets to pay for the losses generated by a very small, very rich group of people. I do think it is high time the U.S. government step in, but we would not have gotten to this point if the Bush administration and Republican economic policy over the past 28 years hadn’t drastically reduced the government’s oversight of markets. Earlier, the energy markets proved this, but the Republicans pushed on with deregulation, a la Glass-Steagall, which set the stage for this banking meltdown.
The cost of intelligent regulation is far lower than the social insurance for billionaires we’re paying today. President Bush and his supporters, including Senator McCain, despite his howling and growling about the markets as “casinos” during the past couple days (not to mention his idea that we need yet another U.S. agency to handle this crisis—the essence of short-term thinking), should acknowledge that they got us into this and that they are borrowing on our children’s futures to get their rich friends out of it.
We’re at a point where capitalism is only a seeming capitalism, like the communism of the Soviet Union, where the rich get all the benefits of shared risk, while the rest of us simply go back to work to pay off their debts.
If this were a real marketplace under the rule of law, lots of bankers would be led out in handcuffs and the perpetrators of these financial disasters would be broke and begging on the street, just as they’ve said “economic failures” need to do all these years. Let’s see these fatcats bootstrap their existence for a change.]]>

Social & Political

McCain's health plan: Adding to the legions of uninsured

<![CDATA[Senator John McCain has promised to "fix" healthcare with a system that combines tax credits with increased emphasis on private insurance. One of his advisors, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, says the plan would pull 25 to 30 million people into the ranks of the insured. Yes, more private insurers making big profits is exactly what we need…. But a panel of experts has contradicted the McCain claims in an article in Health Affairs, according to The New York Times:

The article, published in the journal Health Affairs, argues that “initially there would be no real change in the number of people covered as a result of the McCain plan.” After a short-term reduction of 1 million in the number of people without coverage, the number of uninsured would increase by 5 million after five years, the authors predict. There are currently 45 million people without insurance, or 15 percent of the population, according to the Census Bureau.

If McCain would like to convene a panel of experts to determine what’s wrong with the U.S. financial system (as though we don’t know already–unrestricted greed has sapped the system of tremendous reserviors of value), he ought to listen to this pane about health care now. The McCain health plan is more of the same, which will only magnify the problem.