The situation in Gaza

The mess in Gaza continues. This clip from Morning Joe has former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski ofering his perspective on the situation. Joe Scarborough tries to counter Brzezinski’s analysis, and Brzezinski calls Scarborough’s analysis “stunningly superficial,” explaining that Scarborough was offering a “slogan” in lieu of analysis.

It’s refreshing to see a expert call out a talk show host for repeating a one-sentence slogan that one side has been repeating for years as the definative explaination of what happened years ago. Few things are that simple.

A Christmas Story

This is a good one. Merry Christmas.

Photo courtesy of Flickr.

Franken takes lead in Minnesota Senate recount

Get ready for Senator Al Franken.

Newt Gingrich rips Republican National Committee

Newt Gingrich sent a letter to the RNC telling them to back off their lame attempts to tie Obama to idiot Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich sent a rather scathing letter to Mike Duncan on Tuesday, accusing the RNC chairman of engaging in “a destructive distraction” by attempting to tie Barack Obama to Rod Blagojevich. In particular, Gingrich hit the RNC for putting out a web ad that made it seem as if the President-elect was hiding a nefarious chapter of his personal history with the embattled Illinois Governor.

“The RNC should pull the ad down immediately,” Gingrich writes.

In his letter, Gingrich sets forth some simple instructions for the GOP in light of the current crisis.

In a time when America is facing real challenges, Republicans should be working to help the incoming President succeed in meeting them, regardless of his Party.

From now until the inaugural, Republicans should be offering to help the President-elect prepare to take office.

Furthermore, once President Obama takes office, Republicans should be eager to work with him when he is right, and, when he is wrong, offer a better solution, instead of just opposing him.

This is the only way the Republican Party will become known as the “better solutions” party, not just an opposition party. And this is the only way Republicans will ever regain the trust of the voters to return to the majority.

This ad is a terrible signal to be sending about both the goals of the Republican Party in the midst of the nation’s troubled economic times and about whether we have actually learned anything from the defeats of 2006 and 2008.

Mitch Ablom blasts Republican Senators for risking US economy

Mitch Ablom lets them have it.

Do you want to watch us drown? Is that it? Do want to see the last gurgle of economic air spit from our lips? If so, senators, know this: You’ll go down with us. America isn’t America without an auto industry. You can argue whether $14 billion would have saved it, but you surely tried to kill it.

We have grease on our hands.

You have blood.

Kill the car, kill the country. History will show that when America was on its knees, a handful of lawmakers tried to cut off its feet. And blame the workers. How suddenly did the workers — a small percentage of a car’s cost — become justification for crushing an industry?

And when did Detroit become the symbol of economic dysfunction? Are you kidding? Have you looked in the mirror lately, Washington?

In a world where banks hemorrhaged trillions in a high-priced gamble called credit derivative swaps that YOU failed to regulate, how on earth do WE need to be punished? In a bailout era where you shoveled billions, with no demands, to banks and financial firms, why do WE need to be schooled on how to run a business?

Who is more dysfunctional in business than YOU? Who blows more money? Who wastes more trillions on favors, payback and pork?

At least in the auto industry, if folks don’t like what you make, they don’t have to buy it. In government, even your worst mistakes, we have to live with.

And now Detroit should die with this?

In bed with the foreign automakers
Kill the car, kill the country. Sen. Richard Shelby, Sen. Bob Corker, Sen. Mitch McConnell, your names will not be forgotten. It’s amazing how you pretend to speak for America when you are only watching out for your political party, which would love to cripple unions, and your states, which house foreign auto plants.

Corker, you’ve got Nissan there and Volkswagen coming. Shelby, you’ve got Hyundai, Honda, Mercedes-Benz and — like McConnell — Toyota. Oh, don’t kid yourself. They didn’t come because you earned their business, a subject on which you enjoy lecturing the Detroit Three. No, they came because you threw billions in state tax breaks to lure them.

This was pure politics. Ironlically, these GOP Senators think they are “rebranding” the party in a pathetic attempt to regain support after two disastrous elections. Yet people are starting to see through their bullshit.

There are times when leaders need to put aside politics and ideology to do what is necessary for the good of the country, even when it’s not popular, and even when a compromise solution is not perfect. These Republican Senators passed on their responsibility, even when all other parties, like Speaker Pelosi and George W. Bush, all compromised to get something done. They chose to demonize workers and unions. Of course the unions have made mistakes and we need further reform, but many others are at fault as well, particularly auto executives AND Republican congressmen who for years fought attempts to raise mileage standards to start weaning us off of foreign oil and gas-guzzling cars.

Blame the workers; blame the poor. With this economic crisis, we’re seeing a pattern here from many Republicans. Is it good politics? I don’t think so. I think they will pay for this for years.

Senate Republicans kill auto compromise

The Republicans hate the UAW, and they’re willing to risk our entire economy unless they see clear worker concessions.

Republicans bail out their banking friends, but they’ve turned their backs on millions of blue collar workers.

Now it’s up to the Bush administration. Does Bush want to see the collapse of the auto industry as the final act of the most pathetic presidency of our lifetimes?


The Feds are alleging that Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich tried to “sell” the open Illinois Senate seat. Pathetic.

Dodd gets behind bailout for auto industry

Finally! The automakers need wavering Democrats like Dodd to get behind the proposal. Dodd indicated hedidn’t want to play “Russian Roulette with the economy of the United States” by letting these companies fail.

Incompetent management

Incompetence will be the hallmark of the Bush presidency.

Many have tried to blame the mortgage meltdwn on efforts started in the 1990s to encourage banks to make home loans to poor people. This ignores, however, the responsibility of the current administration to do its job of providing regulatory oversight.

It was apparant to many experts and ordinary citizens in 2005 that the housing bubble and easy loan standards could lead to disaster. We now know that the Bush administration was warned about this, and that regulations were proposed that wuld have eased the crisis. Naturally, the Bush administration dithered and left us with this mess.

The Bush administration backed off proposed crackdowns on no-money-down, interest-only mortgages years before the economy collapsed, buckling to pressure from some of the same banks that have now failed. It ignored remarkably prescient warnings that foretold the financial meltdown, according to an Associated Press review of regulatory documents.

“Expect fallout, expect foreclosures, expect horror stories,” California mortgage lender Paris Welch wrote to U.S. regulators in January 2006, about one year before the housing implosion cost her a job.

Bowing to aggressive lobbying, along with assurances from banks that the troubled mortgages were OK, regulators delayed action for nearly one year. By the time new rules were released late in 2006, the toughest of the proposed provisions were gone and the meltdown was under way.

“These mortgages have been considered more safe and sound for portfolio lenders than many fixed rate mortgages,” David Schneider, home loan president of Washington Mutual, told federal regulators in early 2006. Two years later, WaMu became the largest bank failure in U.S. history.

The administration’s blind eye to the impending crisis is emblematic of a philosophy that trusted market forces and discounted the need for government intervention in the economy. Its belief ironically has ushered in the most massive government intervention since the 1930s.

Many people share the blame for this crisis, but in the end we need a president and an administration that can act when problems arise. This isn’t a conservative or liberal issue. It’s a matter of competence.

With the Bush administration, the pattern was clear. With Katrina, the Iraq War and the mortgage crisis, we see a president and an administration that consistently made matters worse. Good riddance.

Related Posts