Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Blubbering Buffoon

I guess Morning Joe is good for something after all.

Thank You David Shuster!!!

FINALLY someone calls Michele Bachmann out for her treasonous and dangerous words. Secret Service, pay attention!

About Neil Wolin

Greg Sargent points out the fact that there is a lot of pushback on liberal and progressive blogs on Neil Wolin's nomination to be Tim Geitner's #2 at Treasury. Most of it stems from a biography, or to be more precise an excerpt of a biograpy, of Wolin on Sargent's blog. Here is the offense in question.

The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLB) passed in 1999, and it repealed the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 that banned banks from merging with insurance companies and brokerage firms. GLB made it legal for a bank to merge with other financial institutions, but the newly-formed company would have to submit to more oversight by the Federal Reserve. While the new law didn’t directly lead to the mortgage defaults and credit failure that crippled the banking industry in 2008, it did allow for the birth of giant financial companies like Citigroup. Citibank pushed the issue of repealing the Glass-Steagall Act in 1998, when Citibank and the insurance company Travelers announced a merger. (Congress’ passage of GLB ratified the Citibank and Travelers merger.(6) Citigroup has since spun-off Travelers.)

Many large, diverse financial institutions were deemed too big to fail when the credit market disintegrated in 2008.

As Treasury general counsel in 1999, Wolin oversaw the team of lawyers that helped draft the GLB bill that became law that year. Wolin "provided the technical and legal drafting," said Stuart Eizenstat, the deputy Treasury secretary in 1999 when the GLB bill was created.

Now somehow this has morphed from him providing the technical and legal advise on drafting the legislation to somehow him advocating or pushing for the legislation. Perhaps he did back then, but to date I have seen nothing to suggest he did and I am pretty sure neither have those who are pushing back against him. Its the old guilty by association game and now evidently Wolin is toxic. But the problem is there's more to Wolin in the profile that evidently those people haven't read.

Wolin went to Yale University where he earned a bachelor’s in history, graduating summa cum laude. Wolin then went to Oxford University as a Charles and Julia Henry Fellow, earning a master’s of science in development economics before getting a law degree at Yale.

After law school, Wolin worked at the venerable Washington, D.C. law firm of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering before joining the federal government as a special assistant to the director of the CIA. He worked under three directors at the nation’s top intelligence agency: William H. Webster, Robert M. Gates and R. James Woolsey. In 1993, Wolin moved to the NSA as a legal adviser. He would stay until 1995, when he left to work as a deputy general counsel at the Treasury under Secretary Robert Rubin.

Wolin stayed at the Treasury for six years, becoming general counsel to Secretary Lawrence H. Summers in 1999. In January 2001, Summers gave Wolin the Alexander Hamilton Award, the highest honor awarded to a Treasury official.(3)

Sounds like a pretty solid and diverse background right?

In June 2008, Wolin testified in front of the House Financial Services subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance and Government Sponsored Enterprises, in which he backed the creation of the federal Office of Insurance Information (OII) within the Treasury. “It would thereby create an insurance expert who serves as the principal federal advisor on domestic and international policy issues for all lines of insurance but health,” said Wolin. “In one stroke, we would answer the call for a single national voice on these important matters.”(8)

The creation of the OII was controversial because many felt it would create an oversight organization to which states’ insurance commissioners would have to answer.(9) The measure got through the subcommittee, and is still under consideration in the full Financial Services panel.

Now I don't know about you, but that doesn't sound like an advocate of deregulation to me. Hell he was working in the insurance industry and ASKING for more oversight. Hopefully those who are opposing him based on just the GLB Act will look a little bit deeper instead of just reflexively reacting negatively to the nomination.


If I told you that the Republicans elected a free republic blogger to represent them in the race for Rahm Emanuel's old House seat in Illinois would you believe me? I mean this is something we might joke about on liberal and progressive blogs but surely it would never happen.....right?

As we noted on Monday, a newly-created blog has been compiling inflammatory comments posted to the Free Republic website by Rosanna Pulido, the Republican candidate in the 5th Congressional District race. For years, Pulido has contributed to the right-wing site under the nickname "chicagolady."

Now that is the actual source blog post for more info but I wanted to excerpt some of the fun Wonkette had with this story:

While it would be quite unusual to say that Pulido likes black people, they are her de facto allies in the more important battle against the Mexicans, who have a secret plan! As “chicagolady” wrote last October,

The TRUTH is, Obama will legalize 12-20 million ILLEGAL ALIENS, and THUS SELL THE BLACKS, His own Race BACK into slavery!

The Illegals coming over pretty much hate African Americans.

He is going to unleash REAL racism upon his own people as they fight for jobs with the illegal aliens.

It has already happened in LA, just ask Ted Hayes!!

Ha ha, who else said this?: “The Illegals coming over pretty much hate African Americans.” Mark Penn!

Also, the housing bubble was caused by Mexicans giving Mexican money to other Mexicans as a “diversion” for the upcoming War on Blacks.

Thanks for posting and verifing what we we thinking. BUT you missed something! A lot of those loans were made by Mexicans preying on Mexicans. Not white Americans preying on Mexicans. What is being exposed here is a diversion created by the Hispanics who want money at any cost and the corruption and culture they are bringing with them. They would sell swamp land in Florida to their own grandmother.

I lived in Mexico for a year as a missionary. I was ripped off the worst by the Bible students. It is so cultural to rip people off they do not see that it is wrong. It’s culture.

Oh and she hates the Muslims too, but probably only because she thinks they’re Mexicans. Here she jokes about how funny the Muslims look when they pray to their Mexican God:

It reminds me of my dog, smelling buts.

Ha ha, she can’t spell “butts” correctly, because she’s illiterate.

Official Republican nominee for Congress, everyone!

There is officially nothing that the GOP can do now to surprise me.

Stupid Villagers

There is a very good post up over at Vanity Fair entitled What’s Wrong with Washington? about how out of touch beltway journalists and talking heads are. An excerpt:

If it were possible to reach into the television screen and throttle the scrawny neck of the Washington establishment, shake it until the dice rattled and the stem came loose, would that be wrong? Would that be considered unsporting? It pains me, as a bringer of dharma and light, to feel driven to imaginary acts of symbolic violence, but even a man of peace can take only so much until frustration blazes to the upper floor. Watching ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, for instance, is like receiving an engraved invitation to apoplexy. When the panel that Stephanopoulos conducts after his “Newsmakers” interviews includes Sam Donaldson, George Will, and Cokie Roberts, longtime observers of Roman folly, it is like being swallowed by an hourglass; they saw away at the same old creaky strophes of received wisdom as if nothing short of divine revelation could awaken a new thought, eject the dust bunnies from their brains. (Will, who might have filled the throne of conservatism’s beloved elder statesman vacated by William F. Buckley Jr., seems to have resigned and consigned himself to tedium.) To delve into the editorial pages of The Washington Post is to crack open an even creakier sarcophagus, where the dead paw of consensus maintains a semblance of order, continuity, prudence. Screams of boredom echo through the vault, but the sneer etched on columnist Charles Krauthammer’s face remains unmerciful. Every time political analysts Dick Morris, Bob Beckel, and Karl Rove surface on Fox News like plump juicy roasters, I think, Shouldn’t they be floating on a barge somewhere, bound for obscurity? Why’s Pat Buchanan still hanging around? On CNN’s political panels Jeffrey Toobin appears to be the only intellectually adept non-android. With Barack Obama as president and the super-happening Michelle Obama as First Lady, you would think a new tone, a new tune, a kicky new jazzitude, would have entered Washington discourse, but it remains a landlocked island unto itself, held captive by its tribal fevers.

That the cultural eco-system of Washington, D.C., is out of whack with the rest of the country isn’t tree-shaking news. In 1994, Kevin Phillips published a polemic called Arrogant Capital, and the arrogance has only compounded since then, keeping pace with the rising price of psychodrama. The Beltway media went into caroming-off-the-walls hysterics over Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, whipping itself into a flaming casserole even as Clinton’s standing with the American people remained upright and firm, so to speak. It reprised the Monster Mash with the frenzy over the Congressman Gary Condit and Chandra Levy scandal, in the summer of 2001, the nightly panels on Hardball, Fox News, and Larry King Live spinning ever more baroque abduction/homicide theories about the intern’s disappearance as al-Qaeda quietly put the finishing touches on its surprise package for September. The ramp-up to the war in Iraq—no need to rewind that chapter of disgrace. Nor re-stage the tragic soap opera of Terri Schiavo from 2005 (though it seems so much longer ago, the product of a more primitive people), and the unhingement that ensued, with a recessed Congress scurrying to the Capitol for a special weekend session to pass hasty legislation putting her case under federal review, a bill that President Bush flew back from his Crawford, Texas, hobby farm to sign. And yet despite getting it so dependably, stupendously wrong, the hive-mind of the Beltway bubble seems incapable of evolving and developing the introspective faculties that distinguish sentient beings from the Real Housewives of Orange County. Its wagon wheels travel the same old ruts.

In the first weeks of the Obama administration, “bipartisanship” was the reigning buzzword, and when the Beltway thinks bipartisan, it pictures President Reagan and Democratic Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill putting aside their differences and forging a legislative partnership, a ruddy pair of genial patriarchs bonding over the Blarney Stone. (Their Sunshine Boys routine supplies the first point of reference for nearly every stream of consciousness Sam Donaldson wades into on This Week.) If only the ghosts of the Gipper and the Tipper could inspire similar outreaches across the aisle, pined the Beltway oracles, playing matchmaker. When the newly elected Obama was assembling his Cabinet, Time reporter Karen Tumulty, writing for the magazine’s Swampland blog, offered “an out-of-the-box suggestion” for who should become health-and-human-services secretary—former Republican governor and candidate Mitt Romney, that aerosol can that couldn’t. As with so many who pride themselves on thinking outside the box, Tumulty would have been better off closing the cardboard flaps instead. Such stunt-casting would have dashed any hopes of a political future for Romney within the Republican Party against the jagged rocks, and stuck the Obama administration with a possible prima donna, violating its no-drama edict. Throwing Romney’s name into the hopper reflected the fetish that Washington entertains for a centrism that converts everything to mush.

At his Trail Mix blog at Congressional Quarterly’s site, Craig Crawford ventured even farther outside the box—and into the ozone—to unveil his own magic pick for H.H.S. secretary: Mr. Flour Power himself, Newt Gingrich. Anticipating the rhubarb this selection would provoke, Crawford wrote:

Now before you lefties have a collective heart attack, think about it. Something as big as overhauling our entire health care system will be tougher to get done on a purely partisan basis. There are Republicans who want to play.

As much as it would infuriate liberals, picking Gingrich would be a hyper-bipartisan move.

Only within the Beltway popcorn popper could Gingrich, whose serpent tongue and ogre ego did so much to polarize discourse in the 1990s and abort reform, be considered a foxy catch. Only in Washington, D.C., could Gingrich, a magpie of futurist jargon and a bumptious opportunist, pass himself off as an iconoclastic force and centrifuge of ideas, a cross between Buckminster Fuller and Che Guevara leading a commando raid on the buffet table. And only within the punditocracy could “hyper-bipartisan” be bandied about as an aphrodisiac.

Now I personally like Karen Tumulty and the posts she puts up over at Swampland but the author has it right here, her pronoucement that Mitt Romney might be in the running for HHS Secretary was just.....weird. And I told her so at the time. Mittens isn't a health care reformer and neither is Arnold Scharzenegger. They are both grand standers who only wanted to push health care reform to burnish their own resumes. But when push came to shove they both blinked and in Mittens case watered down his health care plan. The whole post deserves a full reading.

Polling Overload

New poll results have been released today from the Washington Post, Democracy Corps, and CNN.

The upshot is that President Obama still has strong approval numbers, there has been a jump upward in the right track/wrong track polling and an overwhelming majority of Americans believe other world leaders respect him.

Republican attacks have fallen flat so far, somehow I don't think that will change anytime soon.

A New Day

There is encouraging news coming from the international conference at "The Hague" concerning Iran and their cooperation with respect to Afghanistan.

U.S. Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke held a "brief and cordial exchange" with the head of the Iranian delegation attending an international conference here at The Hague, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said at a press conference.

Clinton said that she did not have any direct contact with the Iranian delegation herself. But she said that at her request, a letter was passed to the Iranian government here today asking for assistance finding or gaining the release of three Americans held or believed missing in Iran, including former FBI officer Robert Levinson and U.S. journalist Roxana Saberi.

"During the course of the conference, representative Holbrooke held a brief and cordial exchange with the head of the Iranian delegation," Clinton said in answer to a question. She said the meeting was not "substantive."


Iran is being represented at the "big tent" Afghanistan conference, which involves diplomats from 72 countries, by Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammed Mehdi Akhundzadeh.

In his speech to the conference, Akhundzadeh, dressed in a dark pin stripe suit and white Nehru collar jacket, outlined Iran's support for contributing to regional efforts to combat drug trafficking and improve security on the Iranian Afghan border.

“Welcoming the proposals for joint cooperation offered by the countries contributing to Afghanistan, the Islamic Republic of Iran is fully prepared to participate in the projects aimed at combating drug trafficking and the plans in line with developing and reconstructing Afghansitan,” the deputy foreign minister said.

He also described the U.S. and NATO miiltary mission in Afghanistan as "ineffective," arguing instead for the Afghanization of that nation's security. “The presence of foreign forces has not improved things in the country and it seems that an increase in the number of foreign forces will prove ineffective too," Akhundzadeh said. "The military expenses need to be redirected to the training of the Afghan police and Afghanization should lead the government building process.”

(British sources at the conference said Akhundzadeh had been a frequent interlocutor of the British over the years. A British newspaper report Monday said that Akhundzadeh had met with U.S. official Patrick Moon in Moscow last week under a Russian initiative to discuss international efforts to improve security in Afghanistan.)

Clinton spoke in a somewhat guarded but cautiously positive way about what she called the "Iranian intervention" at the conference, without naming the Iranian official who spoke and while trying to keep the focus on Afghanistan. "The U.S., Iran, and all the nations here today have a mutual interest in a stable and secure Afghanistan," Clinton said. "The intervention by the Iranian representative set forth clear ideas" on countering drug trafficking and improving border security that Clinton said the United States would listen to.

This comes as newly installed prime minister of Israel Bibi Netanyahu ups the ante with his rhetoric towards Iran. Hopefully we can work to build a better relationship with Iran and using diplomacy succeed in reigning them in without the specter of war.

O'Reilly Ambushes

Its impossible to understand why anybody would want to advertise on this jerk's program.

Senator Boxer Puts GOP Hypocrisy "On The Record"

Man this is great!

Does South Carolina Have Provisions To Recall Their Governor?

I know this isn't news but it has to be said again that Governor Sanford is an asshole!

HIt And Run

The DSCC isn't letting up on the GOP for their obstructionist ways and I say good on em. Keep holding their feet to the fire!

(h/t Greg Sargent)


Jon Stewart on President Obama's announcement about the auto bailouts.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
Carmageddon '09 - Lemon Aid
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Will someone forward this to Tucker Carlson please?

Well Lets Just Nuke Everybody Then...

I am a Christian and I make no apologies for that, but I have learned throughout my life that not all Christians are made equal. There is nothing in my bible that tells me to reject science, and yet fundamentalist/evangelical Christians routinely reject even the most basic scientific truths. Now its one thing to have those views as your personal views, its another thing ENTIRELY to govern that way as an elected official. Check out Congressman John Shimkus from Illinois and his views on global warming as influenced by......the Bible.

A few questions have to be asked, first and foremost how does THAT guy get to be on the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment? And if this is a guy who believes that humans can do NOTHING to end the world, is that really someone we want as an elected official? Think about what he is saying here and how it applies to his world view. In his world I would presume that a nuclear war wouldn't be so bad because surely the Lord wouldn't allow the world to end that way. Never mind the fact that many different species of animal have literally gone extinct and don't exist anymore anywhere on the planet, I am sure this guy thinks we should drill for oil everywhere because hell nothing that we do matters to the environment evidently. If God wants polar bears to live then they will live, right?

I am struggling to try to understand how some of the clowns who are in Congress got elected to their office. If this guy was on a street corner shouting the same things he said in that hearing he would be dismissed as a kook and possibly given a mental health evaluation by the cops. But because he is in Congress for some reason we have to take his views seriously. And its not like he is a special case, his esteemed colleague Michele Bachmann isn't any better and the list goes on and on. To be honest with you I don't see a difference between their version of Christianity and terrorists version of the Koran. They both are perverting a religion for their own means and gain. At some point we are going to have to point out this extremism for what it is and reject these people. We can't afford to have them in position to lead our country over a cliff all so they can up their fundamentalist/evangelical cred.

(h/t Benen)

Long Day

Not much blogging today, but I am posting this song because it popped into my head today. Enjoy

The Isley Brothers "Footsteps in the Dark"

Monday, March 30, 2009

President Obama Talks Auto Bailouts

This morning President Obama laid out his plans for how to address the big 3 auto companies.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I Now Crown David Gregory, King Of Republican Softball Questions.

David Gregory has a pretty easy job on "Meet The Press". All he has to do no matter whether his guest is Democrat or Republican is repeat right wing talking points and just reframe them as questions. Today was no different but it might have been the most striking case. Gregory grilled Tim Geitner over the banking plan and the AIG bonus scandal yet when John McCain came on the show I don't think he asked even one follow up question. Of course there might be a very good reason why which I will address at the end. For now let me post some of the questions that were asked served up to McCain like wiffle ball to Barry Bonds.

MR. GREGORY: But more generally, in terms of fixing of the economy, fixing the financial industry, if you look at all of the programs that the government has now put in place, do you think they got the prescription right?

Yeah, because John McCain is an EXPERT on the economy right?

MR. GREGORY: And what is your take on the anger, the populist anger in the country? Do you think it's justified, or do you think it's been overblown? Has the president showed leadership in standing up to it?

Has the President shown leadership...asked of the guy who got his ass whupped by the President just a few months ago.

MR. GREGORY: Let me ask you for your assessment of your former opponent in the presidential race and now president, Obama. This is what you said on election night. Let's watch.

(Videotape, November 4, 2008)

SEN. McCAIN: I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him, but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together, to find the necessary compromises to bridge our differences.

(End videotape)

MR. GREGORY: Have Republicans heeded that call, and do you think President Obama has heeded that call?

Hmmm maybe this question would have been appropriate had Gregory asked how describing President Obama's plans as "socialist" and "generational theft" fit in with what McCain said on election night.

MR. GREGORY: And yet the White House says the Republicans have become the party of no. Is that fair?

Is this a multiple choice question?

MR. GREGORY: Has the president been true to his word to change the way Washington operates?

Yeah, because McCain is such a neutral observer.

MR. GREGORY: Mm-hmm. Earlier this month you took to the floor on that spending bill over earmarks, and you were quite upset about it. This is what you said.

(Videotape, March 2, 2009)

SEN. McCAIN: I just went through a campaign, Mr. President, where both candidates promised change in Washington; promised change from the wasteful, disgraceful, corrupting practice of earmark, pork-barrel spending.

So what are we doing here? Not only business as usual, but an outrageous insult to the American people.

(End videotape)

MR. GREGORY: You made it very clear, in that instance the president had not been true to his word.

Notice that Gregory didn't use a qualifier here. He didn't say "You made it clear, in this instance THAT YOU DIDN'T BELIEVE the president had not been true to his word". Instead he made it as a statement of fact all because McCain said so.

MR. GREGORY: On the economy, I don't have to remind you, during the campaign you said, as this financial crisis was really unraveling, as the economy was taking a dive, that the fundamentals of the economy were strong. You were criticized as being out of it, not getting it, not understanding the economy. And yet just a couple of weeks ago this was the president in the Oval Office. Watch.

(Videotape, March 13, 2009)

PRES. OBAMA: If we are keeping focused on all the fundamentally sound aspects of our economy, then we're going to get through this. And I'm very confident about that.

(End videotape)

MR. GREGORY: What did you think when you saw that?

This wasn't a softball but an alley oop. To his credit McCain didn't quite take the bait but Gregory wouldn't be denied.

MR. GREGORY: In the, the campaign, you think that criticism was unfair?

How much worse could it get? Well lets see.

MR. GREGORY: Let's move on to the budget and the deficit picture that you referenced just a moment ago. The Washington Examiner reported this this week: "Last week in a little-noticed conference call featuring Budget Director Peter Orszag...[Orszag was asked:] Are those deficits sustainable? Relenting, Orszag said such deficits, in the range of 5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product, `would lead to rising debt-to-GDP ratios in a manner that would ultimately not be sustainable.' The simple version of that is: If the Congressional Budget Office projections are correct, we're headed for hell in a handbasket." How concerned are you that, with the goals the administration has for spending on major programs, they're going to have to raise taxes?

Tax and spend liberals anyone?

MR. GREGORY: Is that a real fear in your mind?

Gregory is channelling Michele Bachmann here.

Now Gregory spent little if any time challenging McCain on his own stances on the issues like his idiotic call for a spending freeze. No this was basically a free lunch for McCain to say whatever he wanted to say without any fear of having to answer tough questions. Now why might that be? Well I think David Gregory answered that question for you at the end of the interview.

MR. GREGORY: This is your 54th appearance on MEET THE PRESS. Now, I know you're a competitive guy. Bob Dole still holds the record at 63. And so we've been doing the calculations here. We think we can make this up, maybe within a year's time.

SEN. McCAIN: I'd love...

MR. GREGORY: If you're game for that.

SEN. McCAIN: I'd love to try. Thank you, David.

If someone could explain to me why NBC is doing statistical analysis on how many times they could possibly have John McCain on their show for the rest of the year I would LOVE to know. But don't miss this either about Gregory's statement. Who exactly is McCain the runner up to right now? Well of course another former Senator and Republican candidate for President, Bob Dole. Its not a coincidence, you can bet your ass on that. Anybody who doesn't see that Meet The Press is a safe haven for the GOP at this point are just delusional. Honestly I can't even watch it anymore but I read the transcripts to keep you informed.

President Obama On Face The Nation

President Obama handled himself very well today on Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer but man did it seem like it was an interview for GOPolitico chocked full of right wing talking points. Just a few.

Schieffer: This has really now become your war, hasn't it?


Schieffer: Are you giving our commanders now in Afghanistan a green light to go after these people even if they're in what used to be safe havens in Pakistan?

Schieffer: But you're talking about going after them. Are you talking about with American boots on the ground?


Schieffer: You campaigned on cutting taxes for the middle class.

Schieffer: And yet lately I don't see any middle-class tax cut in the version of the budget that's going through the Senate right now. You have suggested that maybe you'd let the tax cut you put for the middle class in the stimulus bill run out next year. Can you tell us, are you still pushing a middle-class tax cut? I know you said you want the Congress to follow the principles


Schieffer: - a middle-class tax cut. I want to ask you also about the, these bonuses and all that on Wall Street. Congress expressed outrage. You seemed outraged. And then after the Congress, the House passed the bill to get that money back with some kind of taxes on those, on those people, you seemed to throw a little cold water on that.

Schieffer: You said we shouldn't legislate down a banker. Have you now, on reflection, decided that maybe you let that go a little too far?

I guess thats just something we will have to get used to for the next 4 to hopefully 8 years. Anyway here is the video of the interview. Enjoy.

Watch CBS Videos Online

Matt Taibbi's Response To Jake/Jason DeSantis

Matt Taibbi's thorough and absolute destruction of Jake/Jason DeSantis is such a masterpiece that I will not excerpt even a single sylabble, just go read the whole thing!

General Petraeus Calls Bullshit On Cheney

Day by day, bit by bit, Dick Cheney's bogus argument for torture is being obliterated. And I can tell you one thing, you won't see a lot of wingnuts lining up to try to discredit the argument that torture doesn't make us more safe when the messanger is General David Petraeus.

Now notice that John King tries his best to get Petraeus to change his stance by trying to accuse him of torture but still Petraeus beat him back. I can't wait to see what the Limbaughs and the Kristols and the Malkins of the world have to say about General Petraeus now.

Sure To Set The WingNutosphere On Fire

The Washington Post is up with an article with a title that says it all, "Detainee's Harsh Treatment Foiled No Plots Waterboarding, Rough Interrogation of Abu Zubaida Produced False Leads, Officials Say"

When CIA officials subjected their first high-value captive, Abu Zubaida, to waterboarding and other harsh interrogation methods, they were convinced that they had in their custody an al-Qaeda leader who knew details of operations yet to be unleashed, and they were facing increasing pressure from the White House to get those secrets out of him.

The methods succeeded in breaking him, and the stories he told of al-Qaeda terrorism plots sent CIA officers around the globe chasing leads.

In the end, though, not a single significant plot was foiled as a result of Abu Zubaida's tortured confessions, according to former senior government officials who closely followed the interrogations. Nearly all of the leads attained through the harsh measures quickly evaporated, while most of the useful information from Abu Zubaida -- chiefly names of al-Qaeda members and associates -- was obtained before waterboarding was introduced, they said.


As weeks passed after the capture without significant new confessions, the Bush White House and some at the CIA became convinced that tougher measures had to be tried.

The pressure from upper levels of the government was "tremendous," driven in part by the routine of daily meetings in which policymakers would press for updates, one official remembered.

"They couldn't stand the idea that there wasn't anything new," the official said. "They'd say, 'You aren't working hard enough.' There was both a disbelief in what he was saying and also a desire for retribution -- a feeling that 'He's going to talk, and if he doesn't talk, we'll do whatever.' "

The application of techniques such as waterboarding -- a form of simulated drowning that U.S. officials had previously deemed a crime -- prompted a sudden torrent of names and facts. Abu Zubaida began unspooling the details of various al-Qaeda plots, including plans to unleash weapons of mass destruction.

Abu Zubaida's revelations triggered a series of alerts and sent hundreds of CIA and FBI investigators scurrying in pursuit of phantoms. The interrogations led directly to the arrest of Jose Padilla, the man Abu Zubaida identified as heading an effort to explode a radiological "dirty bomb" in an American city. Padilla was held in a naval brig for 3 1/2 years on the allegation but was never charged in any such plot. Every other lead ultimately dissolved into smoke and shadow, according to high-ranking former U.S. officials with access to classified reports.

"We spent millions of dollars chasing false alarms," one former intelligence official said.

Just how long will Dick Cheney and the rest of the right wingers continue to lie to themselves and the rest of us that somehow torture was beneficial to this country? To date there has been no public information provided that backs up the notion that torture helped to keep us safe. In point of fact every single official that has spoken about torture that didn't have any political motivations shows the exact opposite. It cost us money, time, and our reputation around the world and yielded nothing but wild goose chases. Its such a false premise its to the point of being laughable and hopefully soon those responsible for making it official policy will be held to account.

(h/t Cole)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Blast From The Past

Public Enemy "By The Time I Get To Arizona"

Some Perspective From Mos Def

Mos Def keeps it real with Bill Maher on the subject of President Obama's answer to the question about legalizing weed.

His voice is irritating as hell but Mos Def makes good point. There really was no other way for President Obama to handle the situation aside from just ignoring the question which I think would have been a betrayal. He can't speak seriously about the subject when he is trying to get his budget passed and people are calling THAT radical.

Its About To Hit The Fan

Something tells me Bush and nem won't be doing much travelling outside of the country for the foreseeable future.

From Horton's

One of America’s NATO allies—which supported the Bush Administration’s war on terror by committing its troops to the struggle–has now opened formal criminal inquiries looking into the Bush team’s legacy of torture. The action parallels a criminal probe into allegations of torture involving the American CIA that was opened this week in the United Kingdom.

Spain’s national newspapers,
El País and Público reported that the Spanish national security court has opened a criminal probe focusing on Bush Administration lawyers who pioneered the descent into torture at the prison in Guantánamo. The criminal complaint can be examined here. Público identifies the targets as University of California law professor John Yoo, former Department of Defense general counsel William J. Haynes II (now a lawyer working for Chevron), former vice presidential chief-of-staff David Addington, former attorney general and White House counsel Alberto Gonzales, former Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee, now a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and former Undersecretary of Defense Doug Feith.


The Spanish criminal court now may seek the arrest of any of the targets if they travel to Spain or any of the 24 nations that participate in the European extraditions convention (it would have to follow a more formal extradition process in other countries beyond the 24). The Bush lawyers will therefore run a serious risk of being apprehended if they travel outside of the United States.

Judge Baltasar Garzón is involved in the investigation, according to the El País report. Garzón is Europe’s best known counterterrorism magistrate, responsible for hundreds of cases targeting the activities of ETA and related Basque terrorist organizations. He also spearheaded the successful investigation of Al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist organizations operating in the Maghreb region, including Spanish enclaves in Morocco. But Garzón is best known for his prosecution of a criminal investigation against Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet that resulted in the issuance of an arrest warrant for Pinochet while he was visiting England.

I guess Spain doesn't have our politicians' reluctance to investigate the Bush Administration for war crimes. Good on them for stepping up to the plate and this should embarrass the hell aout of all of our elected officials including those of the Democratic persuasion.

Stuck In My Head

For some reason I can't get this song out of my head so Im posting it so hopefully someone else will join in my affliction

MC Lyte "Cha Cha Cha"

Shout Out To South Dakota

President Obama's Weekly YouTube address.

Friday, March 27, 2009

GOP = Fringe Of America

I have offered the opinion before that today's Republican Party is now run by the fringe of America. We used to be able to kind of laugh off something some far right kook said but the problem is now those far right kooks actually hold positions of power in the GOP. Whether its Michele Bachmann in Congress or Mark Sandford on the state level or Rush Limbaugh who as a radio host seems to have the most power in the Republican Party of anybody. Well I know some people think that its just not true and that there are moderates in the party who will lead it back to prominence but increasingly the evidence is just stacking up in my favor. Check out this official questionaire posted at the official RNC webpage and tell me this is in any way, shape, or form "moderate".

Just a few examples:

1. A recent national poll reported that nearly 25% of Americans want the government to pass more socialism. Do you agree or disagree?

4. Do you oppose so-called "card-check" legislation, which eliminates secret ballot elections during unionization drives and puts workers at risk of intimidation by labor bosses?

6. Should Republicans in Congress oppose the new wasteful government spending programs passed in the recent "stimulus" bill by the Pelosi-Reid Democrats designed to "spread the wealth"?

8. Should we do everything we can to block Democrats who are trying to shut down conservative talk radio with the so-called "fairness doctrine"?

9. Should we resist Barack Obama's proposal to spend billions of federal taxpayer dollars to pay "volunteers" who perform his chosen tasks?

11. Should bureaucrats in Washington, DC be in charge of making your health care choices instead of you and your doctor?

1. If Barack Obama tries to gut the USA PATRIOT Act and other important laws that promote the safety and security of all Americans, should Republicans in Congress fight back?

5. Do you think U.S. troops should have to serve under United Nations' commanders?

7. Should we fight military-cutting efforts in Congress, such as the proposal from liberal Barney Frank to slash the Pentagon budget by 25%?

8. Even though Barack Obama pledged to meet personally with the likes of Raul Castro, Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, should Republicans continue to focus on supporting democratic movements in oppressive states like Cuba, Venezuela and Iran?

Now again, this isn't a spoof. Someone sat down and took time out to actually come up with every single one of those ridiculous leading questions. I just wonder why they didn't include something like "Do you oppose President Obama's plan to allow him to sleep with underaged white girls once a week while smoking crack?" The RNC should be ashamed to have this posted on their website. But they aren't because in the immortal words of Coach Denny Green "They are who we thought they were".
Its about time everyone just started accepting that fact.

(h/t Benen)

The Party Of No Is Now The Party Of Zero

Great new ad from the DNC PWNING the House Republicans over their "budget" proposal.

(h/t HuffPo)

Its Time To Show Michele Bachmann To Her Padded Cell

Seriously, this chick has totally gone off the deep end. If some idiot ends up doing harm to their fellow man because of something she said we need to call for her expulsion from Congress and possible criminal prosecution. Free speech is one thing, yelling fire in a crowded theater quite another.

Have You Ever Held A Press Conference? Have You Ever Held A Press Conference ON WEED?!

During the online townhall press conference yesterday President Obama addressed one of the questions that had been voted on the most about legalizing marijuana. Now President Obama took great liberties with how the question was actually worded but even at that I don't think anyone is surprised that he said he was against legalizing marijuana. But here is the problem, whether you smoke weed or not at this point its almost indisputable that legalizing marijuana would both help the economy by creating jobs, generating tax revenue, and cutting down on the cost of prosecuting crimes involving possession of marijuana. Literally the only reason marijuana is still illegal is because no politician has the political will to legalize it except for medical uses. If you look at the facts there is no way to justify why alcohol is legal and marijuana is not. Especially when marijuana actually helps with many different physical ailments. Then there is the issue of hemp based products which could be used for many different industries like making rope or even in different clothing fabrics. And by taking weed off the streets and putting it in stores you reduce crime in this country just like when prohibition was repealed and the bootleggers went out of business. I am 100% with Cenk on this one.

Amanda Terkel On Countdown

Amanda Terkel did a great job last night on Countdown with Keith Olbermann. Good to see her standing up for herself and her organization ThinkProgress.org

Judd Gregg Goes Full WingNut

Yesterday Judd Gregg said that the United States wouldn't qualify to join the EU right now because of our deficits. Of course he was wrong. But the truth is Gregg has been wrong about quite a lot lately and yet he still gets major airplay on major cable news stations primarily because he was the nominee for Commerce Secretary for about five seconds. Steve Benen over at Washington Monthly takes him down.

It's worth remembering that Gregg doesn't know what he's talking about. The EU offers flexibility to governments that are responding to economic crises -- note to Gregg: we're in the midst of an economic crisis -- and several EU members will run deficits well above 3% this year. Those countries will be expected to lower those deficits in the coming years, which not incidentally, is what the Obama administration plans to do in the U.S.

For that matter, Gregg
repeatedly supported, enthusiastically, Bush budgets that ran deficits that were more than 3% of GDP. Gregg did not, at the time, run to the cable networks to whine about it.

But let's also note that Gregg is just popping off in the media a little too much lately. In addition to his confusion about the EU, he also
told CNN the other day, "The practical implications of [the Obama administration's budget] is bankruptcy for the United States. There's no other way around it. If we maintain the proposals that are in this budget over the ten-year period that this budget covers, this country will go bankrupt. People will not buy our debt, our dollar will become devalued."

Gregg is completely wrong. Second, his wildly irresponsible claptrap undermines confidence in the United States on the global stage in the midst of an economic crisis. In other words, by making a series of nonsensical and unsupported claims about our economy, Gregg actually runs the risk of undermining our national interests.

Gregg has been wrong about nearly every major economic challenge of the last couple of decades. If he could take this moment to enjoy a little quiet time, instead of acting like a partisan hack, we'd all be better off.

Its ironic that a man that nobody paid much attention to before now is using his celebrity from being the Commerce Secretary nominee to now use that platform to lob irresponsible accusations at the President who nominated him in the first place. I guess its true when they say no good deed goes unpunished. We can only hope that people see through his facade and notice his hypocrisy from the time George Bush was in office until now.

Is K Lo Just Jonah In Drag?

Someone's got some 'splainin to do!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Gibby PWNS The Washington Post

Robert Gibbs smacks down two wingnut talking points and makes the WaPo reporter asking them look silly. I wonder if she is related to Ed Henry?

(h/t Wonkette)

I Wish I Could Come Up With A Title For This

What would you do if your got a call that your mother or your mother in law was about to die in the hospital? Most people would haul ass to get there before she died right? Now lets say you are a police officer and you see a car run the light. You pull them over in front of the hospital and they tell you that their mother or there mother in law is about to die and that is why they are rushing. What would you do?

Well THIS is exactly what I would hope you wouldn't do. I wish I could embed the video so you didn't have to click the link to see it but I hope that you go and watch every single second of it and put yourself in the shoes of the man whose mother in law was dying just a few yards away in the hospital as this bitch ass cop first points a gun and him at his family and then gives him a lectures and then takes his time writing up a ticket even when hospital personel confirmed that his mother in law was in fact close to death.

From the article in the Dallas Morning News

Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle stood in front of a dozen news cameras this afternoon at police headquarters to apologize for the behavior of an officer who stopped a family outside a hospital emergency room.

Kunkle said Officer Robert Powell has been placed on paid administrative leave in connection with an incident last week in which he stopped a family rushing to visit a dying mother, detaining them for 13 minutes to write a traffic ticket.

“His behavior in my opinion, did not exhibit the common sense, discretion, the compassion that we expect our officers to exhibit,” the chief told a packed audience of media outlets that included Inside Edition.

During the traffic stop, caught on the officer’s in-car camera, Powell berated the driver, 26-year-old Ryan Moats, and threatened him with arrest for running a traffic light.

“I can screw you over,” said Powell, 25. “I’d rather not do that.”

At one point during today’s news conference, Kunkle seemed to restrain himself from being even more candid with his views on the incident.

“When we in the command staff reviewed the tapes,” he said, “we were embarrassed, disappointed — it’s hard to find the right words and still be professional in my role as a police chief.”

The chief also praised Moats and his family for how they handled the officer’s behavior.

“They exercised extraordinary patience, restraint, dealing with the behavior of our officer,” Kunkle said. He handled himself very, very well.”

Moats rolled through a red light as he and his wife were en route to Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano. A Dallas police squad car pulled their SUV over near the hospital's emergency entrance.

Moats and his wife implored the officer to let them hurry on to the bedside of her ill mother.

“You really want to go through this right now?” Moats pleaded. “My mother-in-law is dying. Right now!”

His wife, Tamishia Moats, said Powell "was pointing a gun at me as soon as I got out of the car. It was the weirdest feeling because I’ve never had a gun pointed at me before under those circumstances.”

Powell then spent long minutes writing Moats a ticket and threatening him with arrest.

Powell could not be reached for comment.

Kunkle, asked about Powell’s reaction to the investigation, said the officer told a member of the command staff that he was just doing his job.

“My understanding is that Officer Powell, even when he saw the videotape, believed he had not acted inappropriately," Kunkle said.


On March 17, the Moatses had gone to their Frisco home to get some rest. Around midnight, they received word that they needed to hurry back to the hospital if they wanted to see Collinsworth before she died.

The couple, along with Collinsworth’s father and an aunt, jumped into the SUV and headed back toward the hospital. They exited the Dallas North Tollway, just down the street from the hospital.

Moats turned on his hazard lights. He stopped at a red light, where, he said, the only nearby motorist signaled for him to go ahead. He went through.

Powell, watching traffic from a hidden spot, flipped on his lights and sirens. In less than a minute, he caught up to the SUV and followed for about 20 more seconds as Moats found a parking spot outside the emergency room.

Tamishia, 27, was the first out. Powell drew his gun and yelled at her to get back in.

“Get in there!” he yelled. “Let me see your hands!”

“My mom is dying,” she explained to him.

Powell was undeterred.

“I saw in his eyes that he really did not care,” Tamishia Moats said. “Honestly, I don’t think I cared that he had a gun pointed at me. My train of thought is that I’m going to see my mom in the hospital before she dies.”

Tamishia Moats and her great-aunt ignored the officer and headed into the hospital.

“It was almost like a movie,” she said, “It felt like we had robbed a bank or something.”

Ryan Moats, who stayed behind with the father of the dying woman, said Powell also pointed his gun at him. He said he put his hands on the car because he was afraid that he might get shot.

“I put my hands on the car so he couldn’t say I reached for something,” Ryan said. “He didn’t ask me to put my hands on the car. I just did it to try to protect myself. I was pleading with him.”

He tried to explain the situation to the officer.

“I waited until no traffic was coming,” Moats told Powell, explaining his passage through the red light. “I got seconds before she’s gone, man.”

Powell demanded his license and proof of insurance. Moats produced his license but said he didn’t know where the insurance paperwork was.

“Just give me a ticket or whatever,” he said, beginning to sound exasperated and a little argumentative.

“Shut your mouth,” Powell told him. “You can cooperate and settle down, or I can just take you to jail for running a red light.”

There was more back and forth.

“If you’re going to give me a ticket, give me a ticket.”

“Your attitude says that you need one.”

“All I’m asking you is just to hurry up.”

Powell began a lecture.

“If you want to keep this going, I’ll just put you in handcuffs,” the officer said, “and I’ll take you to jail for running a red light.”

Powell made several more points, including that the SUV was illegally parked. Moats replied “Yes sir” to each.

“Understand what I can do,” Powell concluded. “I can tow your truck. I can charge you with fleeing. I can make your night very difficult.”

“I understand,” Moats responded. “I hope you’ll be a great person and not do that.”

Hospital security guards arrived and told Powell that the Moatses’ relative really was upstairs dying.

Powell spent several minutes inside his squad car, in part to check Moats for outstanding warrants. He found none.

Another hospital staffer came out and spoke with a Plano police officer who had arrived.

“Hey, that’s the nurse,” the Plano officer told Powell. “She said that the mom’s dying right now, and she’s wanting to know if they can get him up there before she dies.”

“All right,” Powell replied. “I’m almost done.”

As Moats signed the ticket, Powell continued his lecture.

“Attitude’s everything,” he said. “All you had to do is stop, tell me what was going on. More than likely, I would have let you go.”

It had been about 13 minutes.

Moats and Collinsworth’s father went into the hospital, where they found Collinsworth had died, with her daughter at her side.

Honestly I wish I had the words to describe the rage that enveloped me watching that video. If I could see that cop right now I would crush him. There should be some kind of fucking common decency between human beings that trancends being a cop. And just to know that this sorry ass muthafucka still believes he did nothing wrong, seriously I have no words. He should lose the priviledge forever of being able to wear a uniform and a gun. And honestly that should be the least of his worries.

Now the post cript to the story of course is that Ryan Moats, the man whose mother in law died, is also an NFL football player. But that really doesn't even matter in this incident when you think about it does it?

Go Get Em Contessa!

I am not a big fan of MSNBC'S Contessa Brewer but she was ON FIRE today about the GOP's non budget proposal that they had been touting all week. So was Nora O'Donnell but I don't have that video yet.

Updated with Nora O'Donnell smacking around Congressman Mike Pence

Conservadem Senator Shaheen Should Give This A Gander

Behold the GOP hypocrisy on the budget reconciliation process.


The former campaign strategist Steve Schmidt has come out in favor of gay marriage and or civil unions.

From ThinkProgress:

“I’m personally supportive of [marriage] equality for gay couples and I believe that it will happen over time,” he said. “I think that more and more Americans are insistent that, at a minimum, gay couples should be treated with respect and when they see a political party trying to stigmatize a group of people who are hardworking, who play by the rules, who raise decent families, they’re troubled by it.” […]


“The attitudes of voters about gay marriage and about domestic partnership benefits for gay couples are changing very rapidly and for voters under the age of 30, they are completely disconnected from what has been Republican orthodoxy on these issues.”

The only question is how quickly will the Republican Party try to excommunicate Schmidt now that he has challenged party orthodoxy. It also should be said that he said he voted against Prop 8 so evidently this is not just a political move. Good on to him for having the courage to speak truth to power. Unfortunately I don't think his party is interested in change.

Rachel Maddow Makes Conservadems Look Silly

Its not about 51 votes versus 60 votes? REALLY?

Thank you Rachel for continuing to put these obstructionists in our own party on the hot seat.

Nicholas Kristoff Looks In The Mirror

Nicholas Kristoff in his opinion piece in the New York Times today says unlike Jim Cramer he welcomes accountability in the media and offers up some thoughts on why its needed.

Ever wonder how financial experts could lead the world over the economic cliff?

One explanation is that so-called experts turn out to be, in many situations, a stunningly poor source of expertise. There’s evidence that what matters in making a sound forecast or decision isn’t so much knowledge or experience as good judgment — or, to be more precise, the way a person’s mind works.


The expert on experts is Philip Tetlock, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley. His 2005 book, “Expert Political Judgment,” is based on two decades of tracking some 82,000 predictions by 284 experts. The experts’ forecasts were tracked both on the subjects of their specialties and on subjects that they knew little about.

The result? The predictions of experts were, on average, only a tiny bit better than random guesses — the equivalent of a chimpanzee throwing darts at a board.

“It made virtually no difference whether participants had doctorates, whether they were economists, political scientists, journalists or historians, whether they had policy experience or access to classified information, or whether they had logged many or few years of experience,” Mr. Tetlock wrote.

Indeed, the only consistent predictor was fame — and it was an inverse relationship. The more famous experts did worse than unknown ones. That had to do with a fault in the media. Talent bookers for television shows and reporters tended to call up experts who provided strong, coherent points of view, who saw things in blacks and whites. People who shouted — like,
yes, Jim Cramer!


The marketplace of ideas for now doesn’t clear out bad pundits and bad ideas partly because there’s no accountability. We trumpet our successes and ignore failures — or else attempt to explain that the failure doesn’t count because the situation changed or that we were basically right but the timing was off.

For example, I boast about having warned in 2002 and 2003 that Iraq would be a violent mess after we invaded. But I tend to make excuses for my own incorrect forecast in early 2007 that the troop “surge” would fail.

So what about a system to evaluate us prognosticators? Professor Tetlock suggests that various foundations might try to create a “trans-ideological Consumer Reports for punditry,” monitoring and evaluating the records of various experts and pundits as a public service. I agree: Hold us accountable!

Kristoff's call for a "trans-ideological Consumer Reports for punditry" kinda comports with an idea I have been tossing around in my head about a kind of "truth in advertising" for "news" sources. I personally believe that we have come to a point in time were any media outlet that uses the word "news" to describe its content should be held to a high standard. The thing about it for me is that we hold advertisers to account when they lie to consumers. We have truth in advertising laws that say that a business can be fined or worse if they put up a commercial that makes false claims about its product. But the ironic thing is those same commercials that are held to a standard of factual accuracy many times run in between "news" shows or one cable "news" networks or along side columns in print media where the pundits get to stretch, pervert or outright suppress the truth. Now what I am talking about isn't matters of opinion. For instance its ok for a person to believe that the stimulus bill is wrong for America. That is basically their right of free speech. But when they start making up what is in the stimulus bill or taking something in the stimulus bill and use deception to give a false impression about what a certain provision is supposed to do where the facts are verifiable, we should have some kind of independent arbiter of the truth that has the ability to fine these outlets and expose them for putting out bad information. As an alternative these outlets could have the option of not using the word "news" to describe what they do and then they could do and say whatever they like but without the same level of credibility.

Now I understand that this concept would be hard to implement in the real world. Both sides of any argument will claim that the independent commission leans to the other side. And then there would be the question of who would set up the commission and most people wouldn't want it to be the government for fear of subverting the first amendment rights of a free press. Still I believe there can be and has to be a way to make this happen that is satisfactory for all sides. In the end, I believe, that with this added measure of accountability our news sources will step up to the plate and start putting out more accurate data and the populous would be better served by our press because of it.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


The more Michael Steele talks the happier I am that he is running the RNC. This guy is going to be the gift that keeps on giving for the Democrats for the next year and a half.

Hit Him Where It Hurts

Send an email to all of Bill O'Reilly's sponsors about your dissatifaction with his tactics and the stalking of Amanda Terkel!

Breaking News: Everybody Hates Eric Cantor

You just gotta love this...

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (Va.), a politically shrewd up-and-comer in the GOP, has broken with his party on two high-profile issues. And the defections on last week’s AIG bonus tax bill and the Obama administration’s troubled assets plan have exasperated some members in the GOP conference.

The grumbling started when Cantor unexpectedly voted with Democrats last week on a measure to recoup the bonuses of AIG executives. Many Republicans called the bill unconstitutional, with more than half of the GOP conference rejecting it. Cantor, who has been labeled “Mr. No” by some Democrats, was one of only two Republican leadership officials who voted for the bill. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.) was the other.

“All the unconstitutional stuff aside, if you don’t believe in raising taxes, why would you vote to raise taxes?” House Republican Conference Secretary John Carter (Texas) said.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) added that supporting the retroactive tax cut “sets a terrible precedent, just terrible.”


Another Republican suggested more members might have voted no if Cantor had.

The GOP legislator who rejected the Democratic bill said sarcastically, “When your whip votes against you, it’s kind of tough to whip for it.”

Cantor’s colleagues in leadership called the bill “a sham.” Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said that it was “more than an attempt to cover someone’s rear end because of the political damage that’s out there.”

Boehner told reporters last Thursday that he did not know how Cantor was going to vote on the bill. Boehner voted no early on, while Cantor waited until late to register his vote of yes.

But a leadership aide privy to conversations among GOP leaders said that in the end, Cantor “got spooked.”


Cantor this week adopted a position on Obama’s plan to buy troubled assets from banks that is at odds with that of other GOP leaders on Capitol Hill.

The 45-year-old lawmaker issued a statement that excoriated the administration’s proposal.

Meanwhile, Wall Street and Republican leaders in the Senate embraced the plan as the Dow Jones Industrial Average spiked nearly 7 percent.

Cantor called it a “shell game that hides the true cost of the program from the taxpayers that will be asked to pay for it.”

The top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee labeled it “a genuine and sincere effort.”

Boehner distanced himself from Cantor’s characterization of the assets initiative.

Boehner told reporters on Tuesday that Republicans were going to take a wait-and-see approach before offering an alternative.

“We’ll wait for more details before we prescribe what we think would be a better solution,” Boehner said.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Monday that he was willing to “give the secretary of the Treasury credit for finally turning to the real issue here.”

Did The New York Times Get Rick Rolled?

For the better part of the last two hours I have been doing all manner of internet searches for this Jake DeSantis guy who wrote the GBCW screed in the New York Times today and his position with AIG. It all started because I did a quick Google search and thought I found him when I found this guy named Anthony J. DeSantis who is a VP at AIG but with the wrong division. After I posted a link to Anthony's information over at Swampland it was pointed out to me that it wasn't the right guy. Well I have now looked all over the net includinng here, here and here and there is no sign of an Executive VP at AIGFP by the name of Jake DeSantis. Now I am going to allow for the fact that he could indeed exist but I can tell you one thing other than a recently posted LinkedIn profile and the NYTimes op-ed he doesn't actually exist in tandem with AIG on the intertubes. I wonder if anybody else has tried to contact the guy or at least verify that he exists?

If he DOESN'T exist then the New York Times will have lost ALL credibility. That much is for sure!

PWNED On National Tee Vee

Yesterday before President Obama's Press Conference I heard that Ed Henry likes to write his questions down in advance. After watching him get his ass handed to him I have to say he should have saved the ink.

Yes the rest of the press core laughed at you last night Ed Henry. No amount of spinning by your colleagues at CNN will change the fact that you got dismissed like the pretentious prick that you are in front of everybody. Deal with it.

Do As I Say...

Uhmmm Newtie, did you REALLY think people were going to forget the anti-Catholic values YOU have displayed in your own personal life?

Seriously, step away from the twitter, you are only making a bigger ass out of yourself.

Its Always The Cover Up, Never The Crime

If Rick Ross would have come out with the truth about being a CO a long time ago this shit would have died down back then. Why did it take getting drubbed over and over by 50 for him to finally come out and cop to it? This is like a case study on what NOT to do to further your rap career.

Don't Let The Door Hit You

So the New York Times has published aa an op-ed a letter of resignation sent to the CEO of AIG Edward Liddy from an executive in the AIG Financial Products section by the name of Jake DeSantis. I guess it was published in order for make all of us feel bad for calling the members of that division of AIG bad names and because the House of Representative passed a bill taxing the retention bonuses that the employees in that division recieved recently.

Personally I hope MORE of these assholes quit. AIG has been at the center of our finacial collapse and in particular the AIGFP unit has acted recklessly and unethically all in the name of greed and put our entire financial system in peril of collapsing. Resigning is the least this clown could do but what I really hope is that eventually he and all of his collegues are prosecuted for the fraud they perpetrated on the world. Let me excerpt the really relevant part of the pile of bullshit contained in his resignation letter.

You’ve now asked the current employees of A.I.G.-F.P. to repay these earnings. As you can imagine, there has been a tremendous amount of serious thought and heated discussion about how we should respond to this breach of trust.

As most of us have done nothing wrong, guilt is not a motivation to surrender our earnings. We have worked 12 long months under these contracts and now deserve to be paid as promised. None of us should be cheated of our payments any more than a plumber should be cheated after he has fixed the pipes but a careless electrician causes a fire that burns down the house.

Many of the employees have, in the past six months, turned down job offers from more stable employers, based on A.I.G.’s assurances that the contracts would be honored. They are now angry about having been misled by A.I.G.’s promises and are not inclined to return the money as a favor to you.

The only real motivation that anyone at A.I.G.-F.P. now has is fear. Mr. Cuomo has threatened to “name and shame,” and his counterpart in Connecticut, Richard Blumenthal, has made similar threats — even though attorneys general are supposed to stand for due process, to conduct trials in courts and not the press.

So what am I to do? There’s no easy answer. I know that because of hard work I have benefited more than most during the economic boom and have saved enough that my family is unlikely to suffer devastating losses during the current bust. Some might argue that members of my profession have been overpaid, and I wouldn’t disagree.

That is why I have decided to donate 100 percent of the effective after-tax proceeds of my retention payment directly to organizations that are helping people who are suffering from the global downturn. This is not a tax-deduction gimmick; I simply believe that I at least deserve to dictate how my earnings are spent, and do not want to see them disappear back into the obscurity of A.I.G.’s or the federal government’s budget. Our earnings have caused such a distraction for so many from the more pressing issues our country faces, and I would like to see my share of it benefit those truly in need.

On March 16 I received a payment from A.I.G. amounting to $742,006.40, after taxes. In light of the uncertainty over the ultimate taxation and legal status of this payment, the actual amount I donate may be less — in fact, it may end up being far less if the recent House bill raising the tax on the retention payments to 90 percent stands. Once all the money is donated, you will immediately receive a list of all recipients.

This muthafucka complains about the fact that employees of the company didn't take jobs with other more stable companies to stay with AIG without any hint of self awareness that HE AND HIS CRONIES ARE THE ONES WHO MADE AIG UNSTABLE IN THE FIRST PLACE!!! Are we REALLY supposed to feel bad for this douchebag when he just got a bonus of damn near a million dollars working for a company that took over $150 billion dollars in taxpayer money? Is that REALLY how he thought it would go down? Well allow me to express my sentiments after reading this letter.


Nobody is buying your "I was going to give it to charity" bullshit. Right now AIG is the biggest frikkin charity in this country. If you are so concerned about people who are struggling then give the damn money back to the company so those people won't have to contribute quite as much to a company that you and your buddies helped to cripple. You say you earned a bonus, well I woud say that its more likely you earned a jail cell and a visit from Bubba. Man I hope that some of these fools get brought back down to earth so they can see what its like to live like a "normal" person. You won't find many tears shed over your resignation Mr. Desantis, in point of fact that sound you might be hearing faintly in the distance is more likely to be cheers. Good luck trying to find a job when nobody wants to touch your toxic ass.

A New Dog Whistle You Might Have Missed

Last night during President Obama's press conference Major Garrett in a question chocked full of loaded language asked President Obama about whether or not he would reject China's call for a new global currency standard.

Now you might recall that Michele Bachmann also brought this subject up yesterday in the hearing with Timothy Geitner and Ben Bernake (among other inane topics).

Now most people probably saw both questions and just thought they were related to economic crisis. But if you stop for a second you have to wonder why this question came up both in a hearing on Capitol Hill AND in a Presidential press conference when there might be 3 people in the world total who actually thinks the Chinese call for a world currency chance of gaining any traction. Well what you may not know is that this is a dog whistle for the religious right.

I am a Christian and I grew up in the church. But I obviously don't consider myself a part of the religious right or in a political sense an evangelical Christian. But I happened to read one of the "Left Behind" books, which is HUGE in religious right circles, years ago and I was hooked and read every single book in the series. Now for the uninitiated the Left Behind books are basically a fictional account of how the "end times" would be but in a sort of real life settings with fully developed characters and story lines that are full of action, despair, sorrow and just about every single human emotion you can come up with. Now here is where the dog whistle part comes in, you see many people believe that in the book of Revelations of the Bible that the end times are described as being a time where the Anti Christ rises to lead the world. And during his reign he initiates both a One World Religion and a One World Currency. Now thanks to Rachel Maddow's show a few weeks back a meme was exposed that not a lot of people had heard of. And that was that there were people on the religious right who were comparing then Senator Barack Obama to the character "Nicholae Carpathia" who in the Left Behind books is the Anti Christ.

And of course if you go on any number of wingnut websites even to this day you will see people still making references to President Obama being the Anti Christ. So you see in their world, just China making this call for a world currency can be interpreted as another sign both that President Obama is the Anti Christ and that we are living in the end times. That is also why many times you will see the FauxNooz crowd making wild accusations about the UN someday running the world. Because surprise surprise that is another one of the plot lines in Left Behind.

To put it simply I would suggest that if you want to know whats simmering below the surface in religious right circles it will behoove you to either read the Left behind books or (because I know thats pretty tedious) just do some online research on the books. You will be glad you did.