Thursday, February 26, 2009

Obudget Proposal

So, yeah, Obama's budget proposal.

Obama's FY 2010 Budget Overview

NASA gets money for robots. Robots. Hell yes.

On the other hand, the Pentagon needs $2,000 for every man, woman, and child in America for stopping guys with car bombs 9,000 miles away from here.

You know, and for more robots.

First National Bank Of Straw Men

This here? This is a stupid, stupid argument.
The government's "stress-test" of the nation's largest banks could end up discouraging lending as banks hoard cash to appear healthier to regulators, banking analysts say.

The reason: most banks want to avoid taking more government money because of the onerous restrictions the government places on the funds. As a result, they are likely to become even more conservative with their money and pull back on lending—defeating a major goal of the bank bailout in the first place.
Which is a bit like saying "more difficult college exams are bad for the beer industry because having to study more leaves less time for binge drinking."

Assholes. Why would we want to encourage accountability among banks when they made bad decisions and lost hundreds of billions by betting trillions in IOUs on those decisions? We can't have that, it'll discourage banks to lend. You know what would solve the problem? Requiring banks that take CAP money to f'cking lend some of that money out to consumers and businesses. We can't do that. Too hard on the poor little banks.

In Which Zandar Answers Your Burning Questions

David Paul Kuhn asks:
Has the GOP lost enough to change?
Nope! When you're losing, DOUBLE DOWN FOR VICTORY!

Zandar's Thought Of The Day

So, there's this:(h/t Atrios)
A dispute among House Democrats stalled legislation Thursday to let bankruptcy judges reduce the principal and interest rate on mortgages for debt-strapped homeowners.

The measure, backed by President Barack Obama, is the most controversial part of a broader housing package that had been expected to pass the House this week.

It hit a snag after a group of moderates expressed concerns in a closed-door meeting of House Democrats about how the bill would affect homeowners who are still struggling to make their mortgage payments.

The banking industry has lobbied hard against the measure, mounting a successful multimillion-dollar effort last year to kill it.

My question is actually pretty simple:

Exactly with what money is anybody in the banking industry using to lobby any-f'ckin-body against this badly needed measure? You're telling me there are Democrats out there blocking this legislation because it's going to be too hard on the industry we're giving trillions of dollars to?

Obama needs to put an end to this noise damn fast.

Dear America:

"What the devil does this Obama person think he is doing? Where does he get off thinking he can fix the United States Government? How dare he try to reform health care or education or energy policy? Just who does he think he is, anyway? It''s just not bipartisan!"

--Dean David Broder, High Chief Of The Village

A Heartwarming Story

...if by "heartwarming" you mean "setting crosses on fire".
Don Black says he despises Barack Obama. And he says he believes illegal aliens undermine the economic fabric of our country.

Black, a 55-year-old former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard, isn't the only person who holds such firm beliefs, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which today released its annual hate group report.

The center's report, "The Year in Hate," found the number of hate groups grew by 54 percent since 2000. The study identified 926 hate groups -- defined as groups with beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people -- active in 2008. That's a 4 percent jump, adding 38 more than the year before.

What makes this year's report different is that hate groups have found two more things to be angry about -- the nation's first African-American president and an economy that is hemorrhaging jobs. For the past decade, Latino immigration has fueled the growth of hate groups.

"We fear these conditions will favor the growth of these groups in the future," said Mark Potok, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Project. "In the long arch of history, we are definitely moving forward, but these kinds of events can produce backlashes."

Black claims the number of registered members and readers on his white nationalist Web site surged to unprecedented levels in recent months.

On the day after Obama's historic election, more than 2,000 people joined his Web site, a remarkable increase from the approximately 80 new members a day he was getting, Black said. His Web site, which was started in 1995, is one of the oldest and largest hate group sites. The site received so many hits that it crashed after election results were announced. The site boasts 110,000 registered members today, Black said.

"People who had been a little more complacent and kind of upset became more motivated to do something," said Black, who also said he joined his first hate group at age 15.

Hate groups loose in the country? Obama motivating racists to possibly take drastic actions? People looking for an easy scapegoat to blame?

Now who would want to foment crazy stuff like that?

Al Versus Norm, Part 312

Norm Coleman is still losing the recount, so now he wants a do-over.
The talk from the Coleman campaign about how the Minnesota election results are unreliable, and that a do-over election could be an option, has now gone beyond just Norm Coleman's lawyers -- it's now coming from the mouth of Norm himself.

Coleman did an interview with Sirius conservative talk-radio host Andrew Wilkow, and discussed the campaign's argument that the court's current strict standards for allowing in previously-rejected ballots must by extension render illegal a whole lot of ballots accepted and counted on Election Night, when local election officials used lax standards:

"What does the court do?" Norm asked rhetorically. "Yeah, you know some folks are now talking about simply saying run it again, just run it again."

"Have another statewide election?" Wilkow asked.

Coleman responded: "You know the St. Paul Pioneer Press of the second largest papers in the state, last week [they] said we're never going to figure this out, just run it again. So you start hearing that. Ultimately the court has to make a determination, can they confirm, can they certify who got the most legally cast votes?"

Remember, when a Democrat is losing a recount, it must be settled as soon as possible in favor of the Republican to avoid "disenfranchising the people" because the "voting process worked".

But if a Republican is losing a recount, we have to have to have a re-vote because the "voting process is fundamentally flawed".

Bobby The Page, Or Kenneth The Governor?

There is win. There is awesome. And then there is this. (h/t TPM)

Dead. On. Jindal. I love it.

Powered By Wishful Thinking

Anyone else sense something wrong with this?
U.S. bank stocks rebounded on Wednesday as investors took comfort that the federal stress test being applied to the largest lenders may be lenient enough to avoid forcing banks to seek additional bailouts.
I mean am I just nuts, or is the article saying that the reason bank stocks are rocketing up is that Wall Street honestly believes that the bank stress test is in fact a complete and total mountain of bullshit that will allow banks to continue to pretend they are still solvent when they are not?

If It's Thursday... must be time for a new 26-year high for unemployment claims. A whopping 2/3 of a million this week, 667,000 new claims, and the total number of people drawing benefits easily broke the five million mark (5.112 mil).

Go go Gadget stimulus bill! (please.)

[UPDATE] Sales of new homes fell to an all time low, the worst levels since the government started keeping track in 1963. That's scary enough. There are so many unsold homes on the market that housing prices will simply continue to fall even further...and America knows it.
The inventory of homes available for sale in January was at 342,000, the lowest in over five years. However, because of the weak January sales pace, the supply of homes available for sale is now at 13.3 month's worth, a record high.
And why should anyone buy now when you know the house will be cheaper later? Would you buy now if you know the price of the home your looking at will be several thousand dollars cheaper in a couple months? You would be insane to do so.

Right now we're looking at an almost permanent housing price death spiral, and there's just no bottom to the mess...which means there's no bottom to the economy in sight.

Picking A Fight On Torture

While the President may not have time...or the go after those who tortured in the name of America, the Senate has plans of its own to investigate.
The Senate is quietly preparing plans to investigate allegations of torture under President George W. Bush, according to comments published Wednesday by Senate Judiciary Chairman Pat Leahy (D-VT) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).

The Senate Judiciary Committee could announce a hearing to consider various plans to probe allegations of torture as early as today, according to Salon's Mark Benjamin, citing Committee Chairman Pat Leahy and members of his staff.

Leahy's office told Raw Story Wednesday morning that a press release would be sent out shortly.

Sen. Whitehouse said he’s “convinced” the investigation will move forward.

“Stay on this,” he told Benjamin. “This is going to be big.”

Whitehouse, Senator from Rhode Island, is “spearheading” the efforts, and as a member of both the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, “is privy to information about interrogations he can’t yet share,” the magazine noted.
We've already seen Obama take a pass on the worst offenses of the Bushies due to having to deal with this entire crumbling economy thing, but that's still no excuse. So, it looks like the work Obama can't or won't do on bringing these bastards to justice will have to be taken up by Congress.

Obama will at least have the decency to stay out of the way,. I'm hoping. New tag: Unfinished Bush Business.


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