Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Last Call

If countries like Japan are getting rocked even harder by this global economic crisis than we are, and we can barely stay functional, who's going to help them should they collapse completely...and who will help us in turn when we lose viable trade partners and the countries we owe trillions to call in our debt markers because they have no other choice?

This Man Is An Idiot

Here's Mitch McConnell saying with a straight face some entirely made up statistics about government spending and the impending "Europeanization of America" should the stimulus pass.

Got 2 for Mitch.

First, you can't possibly claim a "vibrant private sector" in America when our financial system is insolvent and we have bankster CEOs explaining very nicely what they did with our hundreds of billions in taxpayer money instead of using it to give loans, you moronic douchebag.

Second, the Europeanization of America if this bill passes (and honestly, get used to the idea of nationalizing huge chunks of our broken economy, Mitch) is better than the Zimbabwefication of America if it doesn't pass.

Epic Double Secret Twitter Fail

How not to use Twitter for political gain:
Yesterday the Virginia GOP came very close to taking control of the state Senate, nearly luring a Democratic Senator to switch parties and put them at a 20-20 tie, which would have been broken by the Republican Lt. Governor. Then Jeff Frederick, a state legislator and the party chairman, ruined it all by Twittering this:
Big news coming out of Senate: Apparently one dem is either switching or leaving the dem caucus. Negotiations for power sharing underway.

The Dems then read the message, quickly mobilized to talk the renegade out of it, and stopped the GOP coup before it could happen.


Some Needed Perspective

The guys over at Yahoo Tech Ticker have been blogging up some pretty decent economy analysis lately, enough that I'll add them to the list there. For the most part I agree with their take on the current disaster, and to their credit they've often been talking to folks like Nouriel Roubini and taking what he has to say seriously (and have been well ahead of other folks.) A short commentary on the Geithner plan is worth checking out.
In this critical regard, Obama and Geithner's policies continue to evince a massive disconnect between the economic reality - some big banks are insolvent - and the fanciful idea that the problem is just one of liquidity and confidence, i.e. the belief toxic assets are merely temporarily mispriced and might someday return to their peak values, or thereabouts.

Unless and until policymakers and politicians are willing to face up to reality, we are simply repeating the same mistakes Japan made in the 1990s and allowing "zombie" banks to live off the government's largess.

These banks will have an insatiable appetite for funds and, like all zombies, will try to eat our brains. From the looks of what's coming out of Washington, maybe they already have.

Simple and to the point. Keep an eye on Aaron Task and the Yahoo Tech-Ticker crew.

Ticking Time Bomb

America is being threatened by terrorists, but it's not the hardcore Middle East variety that are the clear and present danger to us. There are plenty of crazed right-wing nutjobs out there who believe Barack Obama is the enemy of America and must be stopped at any cost. And unfortunately, the lengths some of these crackpots will go are nothing short of terrifying (h/t Steven D at the Frog Pond)
James G. Cummings, who police say was shot to death by his wife two months ago, allegedly had a cache of radioactive materials in his home suitable for building a “dirty bomb.”

According to an FBI field intelligence report from the Washington Regional Threat and Analysis Center posted online by WikiLeaks, an organization that posts leaked documents, an investigation into the case revealed that radioactive materials were removed from Cummings’ home after his shooting death on Dec. 9.

The report posted on the WikiLeaks Web site states that “On 9 December 2008, radiological dispersal device components and literature, and radioactive materials, were discovered at the Maine residence of an identified deceased [person] James Cummings.”

The section referring to Cummings can be read here.

It says that four 1-gallon containers of 35 percent hydrogen peroxide, uranium, thorium, lithium metal, thermite, aluminum powder, beryllium, boron, black iron oxide and magnesium ribbon were found in the home.

Also found was literature on how to build “dirty bombs” and information about cesium-137, strontium-90 and cobalt-60, radioactive materials. The FBI report also stated there was evidence linking James Cummings to white supremacist groups. This would seem to confirm observations by local tradesmen who worked at the Cummings home that he was an ardent admirer of Adolf Hitler and had a collection of Nazi memorabilia around the house, including a prominently displayed flag with swastika. Cummings claimed to have pieces of Hitler’s personal silverware and place settings, painter Mike Robbins said a few days after the shooting.

This isn't Baghdad, Iraq. This is Bangor, Maine. These aren't "Islamofascists" looking to kill Americans whenever possible. These are Americans looking to kill Americans. They're not Muslims corrupting the teachings of Islam. They're white supremacists embracing the teachings of Hitler.

How many people forget Tim McVeigh and Eric Robert Rudolph when recalling terror attacks on US soil. It'll only take one of these bastards getting the Devil's own luck and they'll go down in infamy. Let's talk about the real sources of hatred and evil that drives extremists to attack our country, like right-wing hate radio, shall we?

Or will it take another American leader slain for us to consider it?

Zandar's Thought Of The Day

Who will get the blame for the failure of TARP II: Economic Boogaloo the Financial Stability Plan when it, you know, doesn't stabilize the country's financial sector?

Obama's not stupid. The number one reason to keep Timmy G around at this point is that the proverbial bus will need somebody thrown under it in about, oh, say six months. He knows this. Not sure if Geithner does.

He will not be Treasury Secretary by the end of this year, I can guarantee you that.

Two Sides To The Coin

One one hand, the Republican PACs are savaging anyone who dares to support the stimulus. On the other hand, the Democratic netroots have yet to be able to show that level of coordination in any real attack against bad Democrats (prime example, Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson.)

Money talks, bullshit walks, as tristero says. Bullshit also apparently votes for FISA, torture, expanding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and taking millions of jobs out of the stimulus bill.

Just A Number

Having crunched what few details available, the NY Times has come up with $2.5 trillion for TARP II: This Time We're Serious the Financial Stability Plan (FSP). My favorite part?
Administration officials committed to flood the financial system with as much as $2.5 trillion — $350 billion of that coming from the bailout fund and the rest from private investors and the Federal Reserve, making use of its ability to print money.
So yeah, if you want to visualize the bailout, take the Uruk-Hai creation scenes from Isengard in The Two Towers, and then overlay the goofy factory music from Warner Bros. cartoons. Edit in big fat stacks of cash everywhere and the Monopoly guy in a hot tub.

It's pretty much like that. We're going to try to Weimar Republic our way out of this mess. You have no idea how bad it's going to be in just a few months.


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