Saturday, July 19, 2008
- WARREN -- U.S. Sen. John McCain backtracked Friday on a pledge to set national auto emissions standards that would supersede those California and other states want to set.
"I guess at the end of the day, I support the states being able to do that," he said at a town hall meeting at the GM Technical Center.
The statement appears to contradict a statement McCain made to The Detroit News last month, when he said he hoped to set a national standard that would make state standards unnecessary.
The White House this afternoon accidentally sent to its extensive distribution list a Reuters story headlined "Iraqi PM backs Obama troop exit plan - magazine."
The misfire comes at an odd time for Bush foreign policy, at a time when Obama's campaign alleges the president is moving closer toward Obama's recommendations about international relations -- sending more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, discussing a "general time horizon" for U.S. troop withdrawal and launching talks with Iran.
WASHINGTON — Driven by a sour economy and skittish consumers, U.S. business bankruptcies saw their sharpest quarterly rise in two years, jumping 17 percent in the second quarter of 2008, according to an analysis by McClatchy.
Commercial filings for the first half of 2008 are up 45 percent from last year, as the national climate for commerce continues to deteriorate amid rising energy and food costs, mounting job losses, tighter credit and a reticence among consumers to part with discretionary income.
In an interview with Der Spiegel released on Saturday, Maliki said he wanted U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraq as soon as possible.
"U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama talks about 16 months. That, we think, would be the right timeframe for a withdrawal, with the possibility of slight changes."
Friday, July 18, 2008
9/11 has made us stupid. I honor, and weep for, all those murdered on that day. But our reaction to 9/11 — mine included — has knocked America completely out of balance, and it is time to get things right again.
TUCSON, July 18 -- President Bush and Iraq's prime minister have agreed to set a "time horizon" for the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq as security conditions in the war-ravaged nation continue to improve, White House officials said here Friday.
The agreement, reached during a video conference Thursday between Bush and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, marks a dramatic shift for the Bush administration, which for years has condemned any talk of timetables for withdrawal.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Carly Fiorina, former Hewlett-Packard CEO and senior adviser to Sen. John McCain, met with a group of 25 prominent supporters and fundraisers for Sen. Hillary Clinton at a private home in Westchester County, NY. The group included several so-called "Hillraisers," each of whom have raised in excess of $100,000 for Clinton's failed primary campaign. The meeting was repeatedly sought by the Hillary supporters and is at least the second such meeting between backers of Clinton and the McCain campaign.
An organizer of the meeting, Amy Siskind, said that the pro-Hillary groups represented pledged to help deliver, "hundreds of thousands and maybe millions of votes," to McCain if the groups find areas of agreement between themselves and his campaign.
Millions! Maybe even zillions! I do wonder what those "areas of agreement" could be, aside from "Obama sucks!"
Citigroup said Friday morning that it lost $2.5 billion, or 54 cents a share, in the second quarter.
But the chief executive, Vikram Pandit, positioned the $2.5 billion loss as progress. Last quarter, the financial conglomerate lost $5.1 billion.
“We cut our second-quarter losses in half compared to the first quarter,” Mr. Pandit said in a statement. “While there is still much to do, we are encouraged by our progress.”
The Air Force's top leadership sought for three years to spend counterterrorism funds on "comfort capsules" to be installed on military planes that ferry senior officers and civilian leaders around the world, with at least four top generals involved in design details such as the color of the capsules' carpet and leather chairs, according to internal e-mails and budget documents...
In all, for the past three years the service has asked to divert $16.2 million to the effort from what the military calls the GWOT, or global war on terrorism. Congress has twice told the service that it cannot, including an August 2007 letter from Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) to the Pentagon ordering that the money be spent on a "higher priority" need.
Meanwhile, as noted by Hecate in comments:
Shoddy electrical work by private contractors on United States military bases in Iraq is widespread and dangerous, causing more deaths and injuries from fires and shocks than the Pentagon has acknowledged, according to internal Army documents.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Now I just need to find the secret meeting of the A-list bloggers so we can continue to plot to redistribute all traffic and ad revenues upwards.
KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Reuters) - Securities regulators from six U.S. states mounted a surprise inspection of the
St. Louisheadquarters of Wachovia Securities on Thursday as part of a probe into the firm's sales and marketing of auction-rate debt, Missouri officials said.
The office of Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan said a team of 10 regulators went into the St. Louis headquarters of the securities firm seeking information about the Wachovia Corp <WB.N> affiliate's sales practices, internal evaluations of the auction-rate securities market and marketing strategies.
The move on the headquarters came after Wachovia Securities failed to comply with information requests from Missouri securities regulators, state officials said.
Americans have got to understand that we are paying present-day retirees with the taxes paid by young workers in America today. And that's a disgrace. It's an absolute disgrace, and it's got to be fixed.
It's not so disgraceful that he's refusing to take the hard-earned money of those "young workers."
71-year-old McCain says in Kansas City, Missouri Thursday that he’s receiving Social Security checks, but the system needs to be fixed if future generations are to enjoy the same benefits.
Not actually true, but whatevah.
Please, no Evan Bayh.
WASHINGTON - Mitt Romney, whose prospects of becoming John McCain's running mate appear on the rise, is preparing to formally declare he will not seek donations to repay $45 million in personal loans he made to his failed presidential bid - the biggest ever made by a candidate in a primary campaign.
And housing starts are up, but not really.
U.S. home building projects started in June surprisingly rose 9.1 percent due chiefly to a change in New York City building codes that, if it were ignored, would have seen starts decrease by 4.0 percent, a government report said on Thursday.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
A crucial measure of inflation rose at its fastest rate in 16 years, the government said on Wednesday, just a day after the chairman of the Federal Reserve warned that inflation poses a significant risk to the nation’s economic outlook.
The Consumer Price Index, which measures prices of a batch of common household products, rose 1.1 percent in June, the Labor Department said. That means inflation accelerated at nearly twice the rate in May, when the index grew 0.6 percent.
Or Suburban Guerrilla, where filthy-rich tax cheats have been exposed!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Because of your absurd equation of a satirical cartoon with a joke
about rape with no satirical content at all, and because of your self- righteous, pissy reaction to both the New Yorker cover and Greg
Kamiya's article, I have decided to stop reading your blog forever.
The seem unaware that growing the empire will not actually make them feel better about their tiny penises."
Yes, because of course the only reason why one would advocate an "empire" is some sort of repressed sexual failure.
Your constant desire to see everything through the lens of sex makes it clear you are just a stupid degenerate.
Jan 20, 2001 Bush Inaugurated
Jan 25, 2001 Richard Clarke sends Condi Rice memo, warning about al Qaeda. Rice does nothing.
August 6, 2001 Bush gets memo titled "Bin Laden Determined to strike in US." Bush responds by telling the briefer, "All right. You've covered your ass, now." Then does nothing.
September 11, 2001 Bin Laden strikes in US.
Driven down by the weak economy and the unpopular war in Iraq, President George W. Bush's job approval rating has reached a new low for the third month straight.
Just 28 percent of Americans approve of how the President is handling his job, matching Jimmy Carter's career low.
Bush hasn't seen majority approval in 42 months, surpassing Truman's record of 39 months from 1949-52. Indeed Bush's approval rating hasn't exceeded even 40 percent since September 2006.
WASHINGTON, July 15 (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said on Tuesday a "single-minded" focus on Iraq was distracting the United States from other threats and he renewed his vow to end the war.
"This war diminishes our security, our standing in the world, our military, our economy, and the resources that we need to confront the challenges of the 21st century," Obama said in excerpts of a speech to be delivered later on Tuesday.
Obama's talking about this from a perspective of national security, which is the only way we're allowed to talk about such things, but from the perspective of US as imperial power the "'single-minded' focus on Iraq" has also been an utter disaster. For those who think that one way or another the US should be throwing its weight around everywhere (by invading random countries, by various forms of economic imperialism, or by controlling and using the power of international institutions), Bush has pretty much set that agenda back substantially. That these people have been and continue to be his biggest supporters is a testament to the fact that their egos are more important than their dreams. But that's no surprise either.
The actual problem with "flip-flopping" was forgotten at some point during Tim Russert's tenure at Meet the Press, where even just changing your mind in response to new facts became a political sin, but surely McCain's tendency to tell different audiences different thing would qualify as that or as that other sin supposedly loathed by journalists, "pandering."
- What’s so funny about Barack Obama? Apparently not very much, at least not yet.On Monday, The New Yorker magazine tried dipping its toe into broad satire involving Senator Obama with a cover image depicting the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee and his wife, Michelle, as fist-bumping, flag-burning, bin Laden-loving terrorists in the Oval Office. The response from both Democrats and Republicans was explosive.
Monday, July 14, 2008
If in 2000 they'd ran a cover which expressed in various ways things like "Al Gore claimed he invented the internet," "Al Gore claims he discovered Love Canal," "Al Gore grew up in a fancy DC hotel," "Al Gore is such pandering politician that he's wearing 3 button suits and EARTH TONES" (no I've never understood this one either), it wouldn't have been a parody, it would have been channeling the media zeitgeist. The Obama thing? Not so different.
The foreclosure tsunami is starting to sweep over some of Denver's most exclusive neighborhoods.
Homes priced at $1 million or more in places like Cherry Hills, Cherry Creek Country Club and LoDo are popping up more frequently on foreclosure rolls.
On a recent week, the Douglas County Public Trustee received six new filings for
$1 million-plus homes entering the foreclosure process.
SUCK ON THAT AMERICA
Had the Sadlynaughts created that cover it could've been funny because they have a long history of mocking right wing lunacy, though had they created something like that it would have been much more over the top because the lunatic right is much more over the top about Obama.
The New Yorker cover could have worked if had made more clear who it was satirizing (Fox news, the Republican party, Rush Limbaugh, whatever), or by being clever enough to provide the actual funny. As it is it's just a reflection of the Right's view of Obama, but there's nothing clever or funny about it. The cartoon could run as is on the cover of the National Review, also meaning to be "funny" but with a different target.
All of this doesn't make the New Yorker public enemy #1, just makes them idiots of the week.
...and the Doughy Pantload says:
What I find interesting about the New Yorker cover is that it's almost exactly the sort of cover you could expect to find on the front of National Review.
July 14 (Bloomberg) -- At an investor presentation in May, Citigroup Inc. Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit said shrinking the bank's $2.2 trillion balance sheet, the biggest in the U.S., was a cornerstone of his turnaround plan.
Nowhere mentioned in the accompanying 66-page handout were the additional $1.1 trillion of assets that New York-based Citigroup keeps off its books: trusts to sell mortgage-backed securities, financing vehicles to issue short-term debt and collateralized debt obligations, or CDOs, to repackage bonds.
``If you start adding up all the potential exposures, it's a huge number,'' said Sam Golden, a former ombudsman for the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency who now heads the financial-industry practice for restructuring adviser Alvarez & Marsal in Houston. ``The banks will say that it was disclosed. Investors are saying, `Yeah, but it was cryptic. We really didn't know what you were telling us.'''
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Still, isn’t it shocking that taxpayers may end up having to rescue these institutions? Not really. We’re going through a major financial crisis — and such crises almost always end with some kind of taxpayer bailout for the banking system.
And let’s be clear: Fannie and Freddie can’t be allowed to fail. With the collapse of subprime lending, they’re now more central than ever to the housing market, and the economy as a whole.
Actually, Fannie and Freddie can be allowed to fail. Their shareholders can eat shit, and they can be reconstituted as a wholesale federal entities. There are zero reasons that I can think of that we should have shareholder owned entities which "probably but not necessarily" are going to get a government bailout every time they need it.
Both short and long term we might think that having such creatures exist to be mortgage backstops is a good idea. I probably agree with that. But there is no reason for them to be publicly traded companies.
The failure of months of negotiations over the more detailed accord -- blamed on both the Iraqi refusal to accept U.S. terms and the complexity of the task -- deals a blow to the Bush administration's plans to leave in place a formal military architecture in Iraq that could last for years.
The most contentious unresolved issue is the legal immunity of U.S. troops and Defense Department personnel from Iraqi prosecution for any alleged crime. "We're trying to come onto the same page," a second U.S. official close to the negotiations said. "But with U.S. forces in potential combat situations, we have some real bottom lines.
"But even on that question, it's one thing on immunity if in the Iraqi mind it's an agreement for U.S. troops forever," he said. "It's another thing if these immunity arrangements are temporary because U.S. forces are temporary."
- WASHINGTON — The Bush administration is considering the withdrawal of additional combat forces from Iraq beginning in September, according to administration and military officials, raising the prospect of a far more ambitious plan than expected only months ago. ... Although no decision has been made, by the time President George W. Bush leaves office on Jan. 20, at least one and as many as 3 of the 15 combat brigades now in Iraq could be withdrawn or at least scheduled for withdrawal, the officials said.
- This Week With George Stephanopoulos... Guest: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Republican of California.
Fox News Sunday With Chris Wallace... Guest: T. Boone Pickens, chairman of BP Capital and author of "The Pickens Plan."
Face the Nation With Bob Schieffer... Guests: Sallai Meridor; Israeli ambassador; Senator Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan; Senator Richard Lugar, Republican of Indiana.
Meet the Press. Topics: Presidential politics... Guest: Carly Fiorina, chairman, RNC Victory 2008; Senator Claire McCaskill, Democrat of Missouri, national cochair, Senator Barack Obama's campaign; others.
Late Edition With Wolf Blitzer... Guests: Senator Jon Kyl, Republican of Arizona; Senator Christopher Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut; Governor Mark Sanford, Republican of South Carolina; Governor Janet Napolitano, Democrat of Arizona; economic advisers Nancy Pfotenhauer (McCain) and Jason Furman (Obama); Mowaffak al-Rubaie, Iraqi national security adviser.
The Chris Matthews Show... Guests: Dan Rather, Kelly O'Donnell, Cynthia Tucker, Howard Fineman.