Kenneth Feinberg was on Morning Joe this morning and Mika was her usual moralistic self and kept hounding Kenneth Feinberg to “name names”. She had a certain blood lust in her eyes and voice, she really wants to vilify every one of those damn employees who received those bonuses. Thankfully Mike Barnicle finally said what I was thinking, (paraphrasing) do you really want to print these people’s names and on a Monday morning come in here and talk about how someone’s house was burned down. Think about it for a minute, if you worked for a big financial company and were given a bonus, would you give it back? Is the problem the person receiving the bonus or the ones at the top giving them out? Last time I checked, we lived in a capitalist country. Let’s have the argument on whether it works or not, but until then we better get used to seeing huge salaries and bonuses.
It ought to be interesting to watch as the Obama haters try to spin the Wikileaks post of 90,000 pages of raw intelligence and put all the blame for the last 10 years of the Afgan war on the current administration. It began even before the post was up and surely will continue for weeks to come. The media which is made up of a bunch of journalism and physical education majors will become intelligence experts and start spewing out their uninformed opinions, tainted by their desire to get ratings. It should be fun.
My take on it so far is that this isn’t new, if anyone had been listening to critics of the Bush administration for 8 fucking years, they would say to themselves “tell me something I don’t know”. Seymour Hersh has been telling us about this stuff all along, but apparently since the potential to hurt the Obama administration is wrapped up in this one, they are going to all of a sudden get all righteous on us. If you look at the Huffington Post headlines, assholes that they are, you will see the haters in full throated bullshit spin mode. Here are just a few of their headlines with my critique of how each is misleading….
‘A DEVASTATING PORTRAIT OF THE FAILING WAR IN AFGHANISTAN’
The report goes through December of 2009 when President Obama changed policy in Afghanistan. So phrasing it in the present tense is just a bit misleading. We could have the argument whether it is still failing after a year and a half since Obama has changed course, but characterizing the Wikileaks stuff as current it misleading. I highly recommend you go check out Rachel Maddow’s reporting from Afghanistan which thankfully was honest and thorough and she is no hawk, brother.
‘WHITE HOUSE TRIES TO SPIN REPORTERS’
No shit, your kidding me. The White House NEVER tries to spin reporters. What a stupid ass headline that simply tries to make the current White House the scapegoat. I’m sure Huffington Post would prefer the White House just say nothing, let the media spin it – after all, they are the real experts on the military and intelligence, right?
One thought I had almost immediately is that the information in these documents justifies the Obama Administration’s deliberations leading up to the policy change in Afghanistan. If anyone was wondering why it took so long, now you have your answer. The military under the Bush Administration fucked up both the Afghan War and the Iraqi War, many in the military finally said it after Obama took over. I’ve heard and read many accounts from military people who praise the current administration for changing course after the disastrous course Bush had us on. Remember how Rumsfeld, Feith, Cheney, Armitage and the rest of the neo-cons thought they knew how to run a war better than the generals? When Bush finally axed those idiots and brought in Robert Gates and implemented the “surge” strategy, that’s when things in Iraq finally turned around.
My last thought for now was prompted by Zbigniew Brzezinski who was on Morning Joe this morning. He pointed out the obvious, which ALWAYS eludes the Morning Joe panel that WAR SUCKS! When you put young men and women in situations where their lives are at stake and they are asked to kill people for no good reason, shit is going to happen. These people who are getting all verklempt about the atrocities that have happened in Afghanistan, I ask them to name one war in the history of mankind that was clean. I didn’t have to read any Wikileaks documents to know that war sucks, I’ve known that since I was a kid watching the Vietnam War on television and wondering if my oldest brother was ever coming home.
H/T to Steve Benen for both the clip and the transcript and commentary below. Why doesn’t the president do this everyday?
“This week, the Republican leader in the House of Representatives offered his plan to create jobs,” the president explained. “It’s a plan that’s surprisingly short, and sadly familiar. First, he would repeal health insurance reform, which would take away tax credits from millions of small business owners, and take us back to the days when insurance companies had free reign to drop coverage and jack up premiums. Second, he would say no to new investments in clean energy, after his party already voted against the clean energy tax credits and loans that are creating thousands of new jobs and hundreds of new businesses. And third, even though his party voted against tax cuts for middle-class families, he would permanently keep in place the tax cuts for the very wealthiest Americans – the same tax cuts that have added hundreds of billions to our debt.
“These are not new ideas. They are the same policies that led us into this recession. They will not create jobs; they will kill them. They will not reduce our deficit; they will add $1 trillion to our deficit. They will take us backward at a time when we need to keep America moving forward.”
If you listen really carefully at the 3:44 mark, you’ll notice that the president actually chuckles, just a little, when describing just how ridiculous Boehner’s approach to job creation really is.
I had a lot of fun searching around Youtube for Richard Pryor clips. I think I’ve seen every stand up video he ever made but I came across some TV appearances that were new to me. Below are some of my favorite clips (that were on Youtube, I couldn’t find some of my all time favorites), I hope you laugh as hard as I did.
Timothy Geithner reinforced the Obama administrations pledge to let the tax cuts for the wealthiest in our country expire, but continue them for the middle and lower income earners, you know, over 95% of us. Everyone get prepared to hear the same tired old “supply side” economics argument from the lobbyists for the rich, the Republican Party. Remember how those tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 were going to bring prosperity and good times to everyone? And where were we in 2007 when the economy started to tank or in late 2008 when the sky was falling, the next great depression was just around the corner, doom and gloom was everywhere….and President Obama hadn’t even been sworn in yet. I remember hearing idiots on the right trying to blame Obama for the crash even before he took office. Some claimed that it was because Wall Street was afraid of a Democratic president…blah, blah, blah. If Wall Street is so fearful maybe they ought to find another line of work. The corporate welfare they’ve always received from Republicans has made them a bunch of whiny, scared, overpaid babies. They often verge on holding a gun to the American people’s heads, “give us tax cuts or we won’t create any jobs.” Here is a bit from The Wall Street Journal…
“We believe it is appropriate to let those tax cuts that go to the most fortunate expire,” Mr. Geithner said at a breakfast with reporters.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California appeared to back Mr. Geithner in ruling out a compromise. “Our position has been that we support middle-income tax cuts,” she said at a press briefing. “The tax cuts at the high end have increased the deficit enormously and…have not created jobs in the eight years of the Bush administration.”
These same people like to rail against government handing out money to poor people, but when it comes to handing it to them, the rich, they are all about that. And they say with a straight face that they are the job creators. Really, with record profits last year in all sorts of industries……prove you are the job creators, create some fucking jobs then and quit your goddamn whining. I have a bachelors degree in business and never in any of my classes did they teach me that the way to have a successful business is to rely on the government for handouts. They never taught us that to be profitable, you had to skirt tax laws, set up shop overseas, outsource our labor to impoverished nations for cheap labor and expect the government to not tax you in order to make a profit. Unless I missed that lecture, I was in my early 20’s after all. We did certainly get a lot of supply-side pimping from economics professors, however. I remember arguing with professors about it and would love to have a sit down with one of them now and say, how did that work out for you?
SIDE NOTE: I am nearing a milestone of 1000 comments on this new blog. Two more and I hit the grand mark. Who will it be…..there is no prize, sorry. :)
Booman, who is “The Man” in my book has this great post that I recommend you just click on and go read. Other things actually happened in the world this week that I’m sure you won’t be able to find in and amongst the blathering about that right wing blogger and Shirley Sherrod.
The Republican Party has made the calculation that the only way they can get back in power is to prevent the Obama administration from accomplishing ANYTHING! This tactic shows that they really don’t give a shit about our country and are willing to sacrifice the American people to further their lust for power and money. And that is really what the GOP is all about, money. The most recent example of this is the Republican’s attempts to stop the passing of an extension of unemployment benefits. Every economist will tell you that these benefits have a direct impact on economic activity, when people have money to buy food and services, it helps to keep local businesses operating. It is disposable income that gets put right back into the economy. Greg Sargent has been telling us that Republican obstruction has been working and if you believe the polls, he is right. From Greg…
As you know, I’ve been arguing here that the GOP strategy of obstruction is paying off for Republicans — big time. The public is blaming Democrats, not Republicans, for the government dysfunction that has resulted from Republican obstructionist tactics, because Dems are in charge.
Now we have the clearest illustration of this phenomenon yet, courtesy of the internals of the new Washington Post poll.
Here’s the rub: The most visible example of GOP obstruction yet has been the blockade of an extension of unemployment benefits. The poll shows the public overwhelmingly supports this extension — and it also shows the public is deeply frustrated with the workings of Federal government. Yet despite these two facts, Republicans are now leading in the generic Congressional matchup.
Now I don’t put as much stock in polls as almost everyone else this far out from an election, I’ve been around too long and observed too many ups and downs in polls to get all excited about any given poll. I could give you dozens of examples of the media pronouncing a candidate dead and that candidate going on to win. Greg makes reference to one poll that has the Republicans leading in the generic Congressional matchup but Time’s recent poll showed the opposite. And really, generic polls are fucking worthless, they don’t tell us anything. People vote for real people, not generic people and I agree with Tip O’neill’s old line, all politics is local.
Digby at Hullabaloo pointed me to Greg Sargents post and gives his dead on analysis of the current political environment. Go Digby…
Similarly, the party in power is expected to do what’s necessary to pass its agenda. If it can’t, it is held responsible for the failure, not those who stopped them from doing it. This is particularly true in the present circumstance. The president blaming the “do nothing congress” only works when the congressional majority is of the opposition party. When it’s your own party, you just look like a weak leader and people think the underdog Republicans are simply “playing the game” better and so deserve to “win.”
And there is another dimension to this which especially applies to the Obama administration. Since he ran explicitly on the promise to end the bickering, change Washington and create a post-partisan consensus, people see the failure of those things to materialize as a measure of his failure to deliver on his promise. This president is more hampered than most in making the (legitimate) argument that the Party of No is to blame for the nation’s troubles. I didn’t subscribe to the “personal magic” theory of the presidency, so I had no illusions about Obama’s ability to keep this promise. But I think a fair number of people believed it and the rest think it’s the job description to beat the opposition with hardball politics. Failing at either makes him the loser, not the other side.
I think Digby’s analysis points to why the president’s approval numbers are where they are. Some of that disapproval is from liberals who want him to fight the Republicans more, take on those motherfuckers and beat them down. After 8 years of frustration during the Bush years, they want to see some blood, damn it. And of course, President Obama only brings out the big guns once in a while. I still remember the swooning on the left when the president went to the Republican caucus during the health care fight and beat them fuckers down. Keith and Rachel were swooning over him saying, where has he been, we need more of this. I know I want to see more of it, but unfortunately our president is trying too hard to end the bickering. We are coming up on an election and mark my words, the president has a lot of ammo that was handed to him by the moronic Republicans.
Democrats have finally passed that extension of unemployment benefits over the lock step opposition of the GOP, but what have the Republican’s set their sights on next? Help for small businesses. No shit, check out this from Steve Benen, the Political Animal that he is…
So, what’s next? A measure to help small businesses — which Republicans are also trying to kill.
Perhaps the last best hope of Democrats to pass legislation aimed at creating jobs before the November elections seemed to be crumbling in the Senate on Wednesday as Republicans signaled that they would block a bill to expand government lending programs and grant an array of tax breaks to small businesses. […]
[W]ith some Democrats viewing the small-business bill as critical to their political prospects in November, Senate Republicans were not about to let it through easily, and have insisted on a chance to offer amendments.
Yep, Republicans are fighting against a measure to help small businesses because it’s more important to undermine Democrats than it is to help the economy.
Indeed, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), who isn’t exactly a liberal firebrand, noted what appears to be plainly true — that the GOP leadership wants to reject a measure to help the economy for purely political reasons. “I think Senator McConnell knows and believes this bill could actually create millions of jobs and doesn’t want to give the president and Democrats credit for doing what we do, which is standing up for the middle class,” Landrieu said.
It is infuriating that Republicans would purposely try to prevent jobs from being created for political reasons. They absolutely have no shame, no conscience. I can’t wait until President Obama and the democrats hammer those fuckers with this over the next few months. Bludgeon those bastards with it.
I’ve frequently heard economists and others wonder out loud where are all the jobs? Why aren’t businesses creating more jobs, record profits are being announced every day. I challenge you to go to Google and search the terms “record profits 2010” and see how many hits you get. Why aren’t these companies re-investing those earnings? I personally think that much of it is do to politics. Here are some facts from the Washington Post…
Nucor isn’t alone. The balance sheets of large U.S. corporations are for the most part in good shape. Many big companies have piles of cash on hand and credit markets have thawed so that they can raise new funds. Between Jan. 1 and Nov. 2, U.S. corporations overall raised $740.8 billion by issuing bonds, up from the $522.2 billion raised during the same period last year and almost as much as the $779.8 billion raised in the go-go year of 2007.
If you read the article, you will see that there are a lot of reasons why these companies may be holding back from investing, but I have a theory that at least some of it is political. I had this notion after reading this article about the US Chamber of Commerce by RJ Eskow at Crooks and Liars, it’s a must read…..go now and read…..here are a few pieces from it.
The United States Chamber of Commerce has released an “open letter” to the President, Congress, and the American people which contains its blueprint for our political future. It lays out the current Republican playbook in stark terms, and it reads like the battle plan for those alien spaceships from Independence Day: Drain the resources, take everything from the population, strip the land to a husk… and then presumably sail away in mile-long spaceships toward the next targeted planet.
What we’re seeing is the Politics of Plunder, revealed in all its nakedness. There will be another example of this corporate-driven mindset this week, possibly even today, when all but a handful of Republican Senators vote against a moderate set of curbs on Wall Street excesses. The Democratic Party may disappoint its supporters from time to time, but it seems that Republicans never do — once you accept the fact that its real “supporters” are the mega-businesses represented by the Chamber of Commerce. Some of the delegates who chanted “drill, baby, drill” at the GOP Convention are staring out their windows at oil-soaked beaches, while others have gone broke in an economy ruined by Wall Street gambling. That won’t stop the Politics of Plunder. (Come to think of it, “drill, baby, drill” would have been a perfect motto for those spaceships.)
To be clear, the Chamber of Commerce isn’t the political lobbying arm of “business,” as it sometimes claims. It specifically serves the interests of massive businesses, which are often at odds with the needs of small and medium enterprises. Any CEO of a smaller company who’s pressured by one of the Chamber’s sales representatives to join, as I was in my business life, is being asked to subsidize policies that will benefit the Chamber’s mega-donors — often at her or his own expense. The Chamber’s letter serves those mega-interests well, and we can expect most Republicans to follow it in lockstep, no doubt with cheering crowds pumped up for the same old chants and a few new ones.
Voters care more about helping the unemployed and getting Americans back to work than they do about cutting the deficit. Budget-slashing is a Washington fixation only, fueled by the think tanks and lobbyists that the Chamber/GOP crowd funds and promotes. But Chamber-driven Republicans hope that the public won’t understand what they’re doing, counting on “fatigue” and confusion to provide a smokescreen for the Politics of Plunder.
Those shadows over the nation’s cities aren’t spaceships. They’re the very real threats that continue to loom over us: Continued unemployment. A damaged environment in risk of even greater devastation. Generations of older Americans who might be left without financial security. Republicans and the Chamber of Commerce want to use our economic crisis as a “shock doctrine” moment to pass measures that will continue a massive transfer of wealth to the upper one percent, while mortgaging the country’s future to the economic interests that have already served it so poorly.
As the vote on financial reform will once again illustrate, this is not a movie.
Now, after reading that article or the above snippets, do you think I’m being conspiratorial when I think that the Chamber of Commerce and the huge corporations they represent might actually be stifling growth on purpose to put more money in their own bloated pockets? Isn’t capitalism wonderful?
Seriously, I think Vilsack should be sacked for his overreaction and not going to the source for the real story. Anyone that reactionary should be fired and replaced with someone who is thoughtful and honorable, Shirley Sherrod comes to mind. When you hear the entire story, what smacks me up-side-the-head is that the story pushed by Breitbart, Fox News, Morning Joe and others at MSNBC, the blogosphere and even the big 3 networks was the exact opposite of what she said. This woman’s father was killed by a KKK member, she harbored all sorts of hatred for white people and rightly so, until she met these white farmers. She grew as a person and realized that it wasn’t about black versus white, but about rich versus poor. Farming used to be one of the foundations of our economy, families could make a living from it and were respected. With the take over of “agribusiness”, farmers were struggling and it taught Shirley Sherrod a lesson that apparently no one else is going to learn.
A larger question is when are people, including the idiot media and those in our government, going to stop believing ANYTHING that Andrew Breibart and Fox News say? It’s like the boy who cried wolf, haven’t we been tricked enough times now? I can’t wait to see what Rachel Maddow does with this story, unless she gets sidetracked like most everyone else and tries to blame it on the Obama administration. Sure, it’s a story about a screw up, but isn’t the larger story the blatant ploy of Fox and Breitbart to try to create racial tension in our country? Us poor, poor white people have been soooooooo discriminated against over the years……cough, spit, choke. We live in a fucked up country that is only getting worse by the day.
The White House has apologized and is going to try to make things right. I knew they would, thankfully this administration is capable of admitting when they’ve made a mistake. We’ll see how it all pans out but this is one classy person, go check out this discussion on CNN with her after Robert Gibbs apology. This may turn out to be a great way to expose the right and their relentless attempts to drive a wedge between the races and rile up the violent extremes in our country. Let’s take them fuckers at Fox News down…and that is really who Breitbart works for, you know?
If you haven’t heard about this story, you’re probably lucky. Geez O’pete…..WTF kind of world do we live in. Racist motherfuckers are running rampant. I’m posting the entire speech that the fucktard Andrew Breitbart chopped up to make this woman look racist. Go to this Media Matters page for background if you missed the story. This is a long speech, so I don’t necessarily expect you all to watch it but I want to post it to do my part to fight back against the latest Breitbart bullshit.