Sunday, April 25, 2010

Last Call

To recap, assessing a fine if you don't purchase health care is intolerable fascism, but passing a law forcing police to check everyone's citizenship status and then arrest people if they don't have that proof is perfectly fine.  FOX's Brit Hume is a perfect example of this hypocrisy in action:
"I think it's going to be quite a trick to train the police officers in that state so that they can carry out this mandate to check anybody who they have a reasonable suspicion of being in the country illegal, without engaging in profiling or violating their civil rights," Hume told Chris Wallace Sunday. "I think that's going to be very difficult to do. I think there probably, and inevitably will be, some civil rights violations."
Hume admits this this law will violate the civil rights of people in Arizona.  He calls those violations, which should be both illegal and unconstitutional, by the way, as inevitable.  What is his response to that?

Why, nothing of course.  Civil rights violations don't matter to him.
"The question really though is, that seems to me, did Arizona act reasonably here under the circumstances by passing this somewhat draconian law? And the answer I think, may well be yes, because they are facing a serious crisis down there induced by the presence in their midst of a lot of illegals, some of whom are causing terrible problems," said Hume.
Amazing. He calls the law draconian.  He admits it will violate the civil rights of people...and yet he thinks its is necessary to do so.  To recap, because some people of an ethnic group are in the country illegally, then all of the members of that group have effectively lost those rights, but any way to redress them under the law as well.  It simply does not matter to Hume.

There are illegal immigrants in Arizona.  Ergo, violating the civil rights of the people of Arizona is permissible.  In a very real sense what Hume is saying is because some people are breaking the law, Arizona in turn must break the law in order to attempt to fix the problem.  When you suggest that a government must resort to illegal and unethical measures in order to enforce a law, you have crossed a thick red line.

Of course, Washington and much of the Village crossed that line years ago defending Bush's (and now Obama's) torture policy as far as terrorists were concerned.  Now we're on to the next stage:  witch hunts inside our borders, among our own citizens, for "those who do not belong."

You know when other countries round up people, ask for papers and threaten to deport them we say "Look at how that country is a police state.  They're monsters.  We're not like that."

Well I've got news for you, folks.  Arizona soon will be.  And if the GOP has its way, soon all of America will be subject to being purged of "undesirables" and "deviants" and "illegals".   And guess who will get to decide who the undesirable, deviant illegals are?

What, you think the totalitarians and the hate merchants in the GOP left when Bush did?

Wake up.  This is your country.  This is happening here, now.  Arizona will not be the last state to do this unless people speak out against this idiocy and then do something about it at the polls.

First they came for the Latinos...

Still Backing The Wrong Horse

Nobody's buying the Frank Luntz GOP talking points on the financial reform bill, not the White House, not the Democrats, not the Village, and a majority of the American people want to see reform pass.  Mitch McConnell of course is still backing Wall Street over Main Street.

 The Wall Street reform bill may eventually pass in the Senate but not before it faces a filibuster Monday, according to Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Fox News' Chris Wallace pressed Sen. McConnell (R-KY) Sunday on whether he would have the 41 senators needed to filibuster the bill when it comes up for a floor vote Monday. "It's my expectation we will not go forward with the partisan bill," answered McConnell.

"We don't have a bipartisan compromise yet but I think there is a good chance we're going to get it. What I'd like to see is an opportunity to prevent the Democrats from doing to the financial services industry what they just did to the health care of this country," said McConnell. "And Ironically, Chris, my view is very similar to that bastion of conservatism and tool of Wall Street, The Washington Post editorial page, which said this morning that this bill needs to be improved."

"The fifty billion dollar bailout fund needs to come out," continued McConnell. "We need to have a system in there under which the creditors can expect that they're going to be treated fairly somewhat similar to the bankruptcy laws and we need to have enhanced capital requirements. None of that is currently in the bill that the Majority Leader would try to have us take up on Monday, which came out of committee on a strictly party-line vote."

To pass the bill as is, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid would need the support of at least one Republican senator.
In other words, McConnell is saying that the bill won't pass until the Republicans get to write it.  And by "improved" he means "improved for Wall Street profits at the expense of the American taxpayer."

As much as the Republicans say that the Democrats are doomed for voting and passing health care reform, the Republicans themselves are in deeper trouble if they remind everyone why they got kicked out of control in the first place for being greedy corporatist pigs.  "Republicans voted for Wall Street over Main Street, for the people who wrecked the economy."

So go ahead, vote against it just like everything else. It may be the turning point in 2010.

Sunday Funnies: Shelby Shakedown Surprise Edition

Ahh Richard Shelby, you never fail to take the high road in negotiating across the aisle.
Gregory: Chris Dodd - Deal. . . or No Deal?

Dodd: America went for the big money
and lost $11 trillion

Gregory: oh noe

Dodd: Goldman Sachs broke into our house
2 years ago and we haven’t even changed the locks

Gregory: will the GOP ever support reform?

Shelby: it’s a very tedious process and
the bill is 13 million pages

Gregory: whoa

Shelby: we oppose the bill because it
doesn’t go far enough

Gregory: of course you do

Shelby: we will vote for the bill if the
Democrats give us what we want

Gregory: what do you want?

Shelby: to stop the bill

Gregory: ok

Shelby: sure all 41 Senators oppose reform
but we really want it I swear
Republicans want financial reform, and by reform I mean "the status quo only easier for Goldman Sachs to screw us over with a nuclear powered chainsaw, because that's more efficient."

What John Cole Said

The Village understands the Tea Party perfectly.  They just refuse to say so.  John Cole on the Teabaggers:
They weren’t around protesting during the Bush years BECAUSE THE TEA PARTY IS REPUBLICANS. They don’t care about the deficit. They care that a Democrat (and a black “Muslim,” to boot), is in the White House. They don’t care about fiscal restraint, they care that a Democrat is in the White House. They don’t, as some foolishly pretend, care about the Wall Street excesses. Certainly Cenk Uyger is not the only one who has noticed that the tea party bubbas could all be shipped to protest HCR, but the big money boys aren’t running the buses to protest Wall Street. They care that there is a Democrat in the White House.

And those crowds of angry white old people screaming “keep government out of my medicare” and waving signs of “Drill, baby, drill?” They sure as hell don’t care about the environment and are not going to become some sort of “Green Tea Party.”

All they care about is that there is a Democrat in the White House.
Ding ding ding!  And the best part is on an instinctual level, even the Village is smart enough to understand that the Tea Party guys have been here since Reagan.  They just get angry when there's a Democrat.  They hate Dems.  It doesn't matter what the Democrat actually does, they hate him.  The last one got impeached.  This one, should the Republicans ever regain the House, will certainly get impeached.

Government is only evil if a Democrat is in charge, otherwise is it above reproach, above fact, above argument, above debate, and anyone who says otherwise clearly hates America.

The Village knows this.  They're just not going to pick a fight with the GOP and be branded traitors.  And to a Teabagger, all Democrats are traitors.

Playing To Lose

E-mails released yesterday by Congress shows Goldman Sachs was betting big time that their subprime investment schemes would fail...and that they were designed to fail from the beginning.  When they did so, Goldman made a mint.
The messages, released Saturday by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, appear to contradict statements by Goldman that left the impression that the firm lost money on mortgage-related investments.

In the messages, Lloyd C. Blankfein, the bank’s chief executive, acknowledged in November 2007 that the firm had lost money initially. But it later recovered by making negative bets, known as short positions, to profit as housing prices plummeted. “Of course we didn’t dodge the mortgage mess,” he wrote. “We lost money, then made more than we lost because of shorts.”

He added, “It’s not over, so who knows how it will turn out ultimately.”

In another message, dated July 25, 2007, David A. Viniar, Goldman’s chief financial officer, reacted to figures that said the company had made a $51 million profit from bets that housing securities would drop in value. “Tells you what might be happening to people who don’t have the big short,” he wrote to Gary D. Cohn, now Goldman’s president.

Actions taken by Wall Street firms during the housing collapse have become a major factor in the contentious debate over financial reform. In his weekly radio address on Saturday, President Obama said Wall Street had “hurt just about every sector of our economy” and again pressed the case for tighter regulation. On Monday, Senate Democrats will try to prevent a Republican filibuster in the first major test of the administration’s effort to push through legislation.

Goldman on Saturday denied it made a significant profit on mortgage-related products in 2007 and 2008. It said the subcommittee had “cherry-picked” e-mail messages from the nearly 20 million pages of documents it provided. This sets up a showdown between the Senate subcommittee and Goldman, which has aggressively defended itself since the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a security fraud complaint against it nine days ago. On Tuesday, seven current and former Goldman employees, including Mr. Blankfein, are expected to testify at a Congressional hearing.

Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan and head of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, said that the e-mail messages contrasted with Goldman’s public statements about its trading results. “The 2009 Goldman Sachs annual report stated that the firm ‘did not generate enormous net revenues by betting against residential related products,’ ” Senator Levin said in a statement Saturday. “These e-mails show that, in fact, Goldman made a lot of money by betting against the mortgage market.”

The messages appear to connect some of the dots at a crucial moment of Goldman history. They show that in 2007, as most other banks hemorrhaged money from plummeting mortgage holdings, Goldman prospered
They bet on a meltdown, and the best way to ensure a meltdown was going to happen was to use Goldman's leadership position in the market to push these questionable subprime securities products to the consumer, while secretly betting those products would fail massively.  They did.  Everyone else lost money.  Goldman Sachs came out better than before.  They knew the bubble was going to explode.

When it did, they made a fortune.  The rest of the country?  Well, we lost 8 million or so jobs, had to pay trillions to bail out the banks, and basically wrecked our economy for the next decade or so.  But Goldman Sachs made money.  Illegal?  That's what the investigation is for.  Immoral?  Without a doubt.  They knew exactly what they were doing, and always had known.

They conned America and walked away laughing at how stupid we were.  And the GOP wants to back Goldman and prevent legislation from stopping cons like this happening again?

You do that, Republicans.

Graham's Game

GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham say if Democrats dare try to move ahead on immigration, then he will completely bail on his own climate change legislation, effectively killing the bill.
In a stunning move that could throw a major roadblock in front of two of President Obama's biggest legislative initiatives, Sen. Lindsey Graham abruptly declared Saturday he's abandoning talks on climate change legislation because he believes Democratic efforts to bring up a separate immigration reform package is undermining the legislative process.

"Moving forward on immigration - in this hurried, panicked manner - is nothing more than a cynical political ploy," the South Carolina Republican wrote in a sharply-worded letter obtained by CNN.

The letter was sent to business, religious, and conservation leaders that the senator has been working with on the climate change legislation. An aide to Graham told CNN the senator will no longer be attending a major news conference scheduled for Monday with Democratic Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts and independent Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut to unveil details of their "tri-partisan" climate change legislation.

Graham is the only leading Republican who has been working with the White House on the contentious issue.
Harry Reid and the White House are calling Graham's bluff...for now.

A senior White House official told CNN that in recent days Graham has been privately threatening that he would abandon the climate talks unless Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, backed off of plans to push forward with comprehensive immigration reform ahead of the environmental legislation.

Reid released a statement Saturday saying he’s still committed to tackling both issues and will not be deterred by Graham’s decision.

“I appreciate the work of Senator Graham on both of these issues and understand the tremendous pressure he is under from members of his own party not to work with us on either measure,” said Reid. “But I will not allow him to play one issue off of another, and neither will the American people. They expect us to do both, and they will not accept the notion that trying to act on one is an excuse for not acting on the other."
If anyone's surprised by this, please read the other some odd thousand GOP Stupidity entries on this blog.  Thanks.

In all seriousness it looks like the mysterious source in yesterday's CNN article that said both immigration reform and climate change were dead in the Senate was Lindsey Graham himself.  Also, let's keep in mind what's going on here:  a Senator from the minority party and not even a member of the minority party's Senate leadership is effectively telling the President and the majority party that they can't try to introduce anything other than the legislation he has his name on, or he'll completely abandon his own bill.

In other words, Lindsey Graham has declared himself the most important man in Washington, more powerful than both the President and the Senate majority leader, and that they will listen to his demands or else.  Suddenly the real meaning of his work on climate change legislation becomes crystal clear:  he wanted a hostage all along, not a law.

And keep in mind Lindsey Graham is considered a moderate at best and a heretic who must be purged at worst for the unforgivable crime of even working with the majority party in order to craft legislation.

This is the Republican party in 2010.  A party so filled with partisan rancor and unthinking anger that the simple idea of introducing other legislation that doesn't have to do with another bill is enough to make them abandon their own bipartisan legislation like petulant, sullen children throwing a tantrum because they are told they have to eat their vegetables before dessert.

You will only get what you want from them if they get 100% of what they want now, right now, or they will simply be the Party of No.  Party of l'enfant terribles is more like it.

Have we not learned that there is no Republican who will ever vote for a bill that's not 100% Republican?  Have we not learned that the Republicans have abdicated their duties as lawmakers and instead are simply there to say no to everything?  Have we not learned that the Republicans will never recognize this administration and this Congress as legitimate because they are not in charge of it?

What's it going to take, Dems?
Related Posts with Thumbnails