September 9, 2008 § Leave a comment
Fannie & Freddie: Buying friends in DC
CNNMoney.com – 53 minutes ago
The two mortgage finance companies doled out $174-million over the past 10 years to Washington lobbyists, report says. By Allan Chernoff, CNN senior correspondent NEW YORK (CNN) — When it came to buying influence in Washington, Freddie Mac and Fannie …
Paulson placates China, Russia for now
US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson had little choice but to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, with China and Russia holding large amounts of their debt. Doing nothing would have left no further reason for other countries to invest in US government-guaranteed obligations. That day of reckoning has now merely been delayed. –Julian Delasantellis
September 1, 2008 § Leave a comment
Here is Palin’s response to a candidate questionnaire for the Alaska 2006 gubernatorial race:
- Are you offended by the phrase “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance? Why or why not?
SP: Not on your life. If it was good enough for the founding fathers, its good enough for me and I’ll fight in defense of our Pledge of Allegiance
Interesting technology, large touch sensitive modules that are stackable.
What if technology tends even just a small tendency, to be preferred because it removes us from shit, sweat, semen, babies, burps, smells, tastes, and in fact all interpersonal stuff, from hard to soft feelings that lead to feeling awkward and contaminated, except when explicitly chosen> And even there ,the shift from real to virtual sex is really happening.
technology then is the instrument of removing ourselves from ourselves. Of course not all the time, but on average, with a slight bias, that over times leads to separation and fragmentation.
October 4, 2007 § Leave a comment
How true is it that
The US has ruined Iraq
The US has iself been deeply wounded by Iraq and economic policies.
We are in a detriorating situation
The Bush presidency is a failed Presidency.
We have no way to get a grasp on the current situation and are merely declining.
September 6, 2007 § Leave a comment
We are all distracted by Iraq/Iran and the presidential election.
It is plausible that the strategy of the administration is
- 1. Make the economy safe for its friends. Solidify the plutocracy.
- 2. invest in a risky but not essential investment in a war to get control of the ME. This is good because it supports the Military Industrial complex that our friends own, loss is not really significant but we can bankrupt the welfare economy by the justification of a security But is distracts press and people from the underlying financial strategy.
- 3. Make the Republican party the vehicle for this politics
- 4. Keep the Democrats hobbled by new deal issues the voting public no longer cares about, and make it so there is not enough money to keep new deal policies in place.
Note that in real terms, the war in Iraq is small scale compared to wars in the past. Bush himself is a part of the strategy because he is not affected by the claims of those outside the narrow circle. The shift in economic power towards the few under the rule of corporate law is the key movement of our time.
August 19, 2007 § Leave a comment
Padilla case makes us all very nervous. Scott Horton has a great summary of the issues.
July 28, 2007 § Leave a comment
The dems need to propose what a full diplomacy and security strategy would look like, and who could do it. Do we have the skilled and knowledgeable staff?
The upside of this latest tiff between Senators Clinton and Obama is that it is starting to force candidates, and hopefully the broader public, to start thinking about what a new foreign policy should look like, and further, if we support diplomacy, what the sound byte of “vigorous diplomacy” should contain.
June 21, 2007 § Leave a comment
Looking at efforts to reach a “centrist” politics. I’ve argued (GardenWorld draft) that there is majority view , but it is not the average or a compromise between the two party positions. the real majority view lies off to the side so to speak, because both parties are in agreement about maintaining the centrality of current power and profit.
Bloomberg and Schwartznegger from the two sides of the country are making an effort to break through. Dan Wood is looking at the effort.
First up was New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, delivering a scathing admonition: “The politics of partisanship and the resulting inaction and excuses have paralyzed decisionmaking,” he told a group of some 200 national politicos and guests. We can turn around … our wrongheaded course, if we start basing our actions on ideas [and] shared values … without regard to party.”
The next day, his partner in taking to task the political climate, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R), echoed: “There really is no more urgent issue facing America today than … bridging the political divide.”
Others, such as Mayor Bloomberg – the former Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent – call it simply “nonpartisan leadership.” The emphasis is on ideas over ideology, building trust instead of enmity with opposing politicians, embracing innovation with more regard to citizens than to which party thought of it first – or who gets credit. The idea also plays into the yearning of an increasingly frustrated voting public for another principle: Get it done.
Bloomberg, too, has reversed a dreadful job-approval rating, below 20 percent. After a series of get-it-done initiatives – from a crackdown on illegal guns to bans on smoking and trans-fats to affordable housing initiatives – his rating is now in the 70s.
The New York mayor and the California governor are hammering a note that resonates with the public. Seventy-five percent like leaders who are willing to compromise, and 60 percent like leaders whose positions are a mix of liberal and conservative, according to the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press in Washington.
The best records of reach-across-the-aisle politicians have been at state and local levels, many experts say. Schwarzenegger has been leading the pack. After several stumbles in his first two years, he appointed a Democrat as his chief of staff last year. He has since made headlines with global warming and healthcare initiatives, prison reform, and a state infrastructure overhaul.
One reason postpartisan ideas have a harder time gaining currency nationally is that those who vote in nominating primaries are more liberal or conservative than the general voting public. Eventual nominees feel beholden to those who get them to office.
“I would argue that many of the likely party nominees for president – especially Hillary Clinton – are almost certain to continue the deep partisan divide that has characterized America through the Clinton and Bush terms,” says Larry Sabato, political scientist at the University of Virginia.
“But when these unifying governors run for president (like the cases of Clinton and Bush), they have to take stands in the culture wars and on matters of war and peace.”
What strikes me is the lack of content. It really is compromise politics around the most pubic issues, but not dealing with the problems the public is most concerned about: jobs, the American position in the world, or the nature of financial capitalism. the future of the economy and the distribution of profit and pain will be central, but not centrally dealt with.
One can see that the Bloomberg – Schwartenegger kind of bipartisanship is the attempt t hold together this economy in the face of mounting failure and criticism – not to change the rules or outcomes significantly.