Tag Archives: bailout

Tuesday Morning News Roundup

Today voters go to the polls in Michigan and Arizona. We’ve had 20 debates and over a year of campaigning for some candidates. Who would’ve thought that Michigan was going to be a key state? In 2008, Mitt Romney smoked his Republican competition. Since then, he came out firmly against the auto bailout. Yet, by all accounts, the auto bailout not only worked but worked fabulously well. So, instead of admitting a mistake, he and the other Republican candidates have doubled and tripled down on the Let Michigan Die, free-market rhetoric. If Mitt Romney loses Michigan, his home state, a state where his father was governor, his candidacy is in real trouble.

President Obama proposes cutting corporate tax rates and closing corporate loopholes. There is no doubt that we need to fix our corporate tax system. The Tax Policy Center produced the following graph.

Newt has one. Ron Paul has one. Romney has several. Even Rick Santorum has his own billionaire. Can I have my own billionaire, too?

Could it be that Governor Scott Walker is resigned to the fact that he’s going to be recalled? He has declined to challenge signatures ahead of Monday’s deadline. It looks like the recall election will have a date set some time next week.

The deadly shooting in Ohio is such a tragedy. A second teenager has died. Once again, we are at a loss. I would caution everybody against overanalysis.

It takes a special kind of thief to scam a nun. Lowlife.

It appears that sleeping pills are associated with a fourfold increase in premature death. This details of the study can be found here.

Omega-3-fatty acids are associated with more brainpower and are shown to retard brain aging. I’m going back for a second helping of fish!

A new political action committee has formed in order to combat anti-choice legislators.

I’ll be the first to admit that I really do not understand gas prices. Back in 2007 and 2008, I interviewed some oil “experts” who talked about supply and demand and world supply and refinery production. They sort of really made sense. World demand has increased. This is clear. American utilization of oil has decreased dramatically over the last two years. Yet we have seen a steady rise in oil prices over that timeframe. Instability in the Middle East, in my opinion, has been the same for over the past 40 years. It is an unstable part of the world. Whether it is Iran, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela or somewhere else, some oil country is threatening to cut off the supply almost all the time. So what economic force can be conjured up to explain the recent spike in oil prices? Oil speculators? These are the guys with the, to quote Alan Greenspan, “irrational exuberance?” I should pay an extra 25 or 50 cents per gallon because these guys get a wild hair? A federal judge is looking into these oil speculators. Just to confuse matters even more, another expert is telling us that this oil price spike shouldn’t be that bad because other fuel prices are relatively low.

Canadian company decides to go ahead with the Keystone pipeline.

Internal workings of the German government may cause problems in the Eurozone bailout. You didn’t think that this would be easy, did you?

Climate change and increasing volcanic activity.

I’m not sure what that was at the Daytona 500. Texting during the race? Crashes. Then we had more crashes. Why race at night? Isn’t there better lighting during the day? Wouldn’t you want the best and fastest conditions for the best race in the US?

Thoughts? What stories are you following?

Another false controversy

angry

For the last 20 years, if not more, we’ve been embroiled in an us versus them controversy. Whether it is abortion or the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, universal healthcare or even the auto bailout, this has been perpetrated in the media as us versus them. Many of these controversies have been extremely petty. Currently, we have some folks who are incensed that Republican Governor Chris Christie has decided to fly the flag at half mast in honor of Whitney Houston. There are some who believe that such an honor should be reserved only for fallen officers and fallen military personnel. Okay. You can believe that, but it’s not based on anything written in stone. I have a problem with people who get mad simply to get mad. These people want to be outraged all the time. These are the people who scream at you through their car windows while driving 80 miles an hour through bumper-to-bumper traffic spilling their hot coffee on themselves.

The decision to fly a flag at half mast is usually up to the governor of that state, or to the president. The decision is relatively arbitrary. It is simply a sign of respect. Whitney Houston was beloved by millions of fans all over the world. She had an amazing voice. Unfortunately, she was consumed by demons both real and imagined. Personally, I find great sadness in her death. It seems to me that someone who flamed out so publicly could’ve been saved by somebody. She had mentors. She had followers. She had handlers. She had friends. Yet through this vast network of people, nobody pulled her out of her tailspin. To me, that’s the real tragedy. I don’t think flying the flag at half mast dishonors our troops or fallen police officers. Whatever Governor Chris Christie had decided would not have changed my mind about Whitney Houston’s career or her death.

Finally, if we want to get mad about something, we need to get mad about how we are treating our troops. These guys are real heroes. Whether you believed in their missions or not is not germane. The fact is that these young men and women stepped up and answered the call when our country asked them to. They need universal health care for life. They need better post-traumatic stress treatment. They need better services available for them so that they can reassemble into society with a minimum of disruption. They need better pay. There should be no family of active duty servicemen on food stamps. There’s no excuse. If we truly want to honor our troops, we need to take care of them like the heroes that they are.

Saturday Night/Sunday Morning News Roundup

Kevin Costner did a marvelous job at Whitney Houston’s funeral.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is really caught between a rock and a hard place. He really has to win Michigan. Losing his home state of Michigan would be as devastating to him as losing Tennessee was to Al Gore (it cost him the election). The fact that Newt Gingrich has gotten another injection of millions of dollars of cash can only help Mitt Romney. The Republican Party seems to be split up into those who can’t stand Mitt Romney and those who think he’s okay. Rick Santorum is taking most of the I can’t stand Mitt Romney vote. If Newt becomes a viable candidate (Newt has really never been a viable candidate), he will siphon off some votes from Rick Santorum. Mitt, though, has also run into a buzz saw with his stance on the auto bailout. The Tea Party portion of Republicans really hate the idea of any bailout whatsoever. Romney continues to insist that he wanted some sort of bailout, just not a government bailout. That doesn’t sit well with the Tea Party. Mitt is trying to walk this fine line in order to promote a market-driven solution, one supposed to impress the fiscal conservative Republicans. They don’t seem all that impressed with his answer either.

The Heartland Institute has been pushing an anti-global warming agenda for some time. Internal documents reveal 19 corporations that have been funding the Institute.

An Arizona sheriff (no, not that one) was the co-chairman of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in Arizona. He stepped down in the face of allegations that he was going to deport illegal gay man. Somehow, sex is involved, or at least allegations of sex are involved… sort of. Anyway, it’s a huge mess for the sheriff. Oh, did I mention that the sheriff was openly gay? Somebody get the popcorn. I’m going to be following the story. A gay sheriff in Arizona who is also running for Congress. You can’t make this stuff up.

In Wisconsin, Scott Walker asked a judge to delay the recall vote so that he can have time to verify all of the one million signatures. The campaign originally had 10 days to examine all the signatures and the judge granted an extra 20. The friends of Scott Walker were asking for more time. The judge said no.

One of the best articles I’ve read today points to the six people to whom Congress should have listened about birth control. First, Doctor Regina Benjamin, surgeon general. I know Doctor Benjamin personally. She is thoughtful, knowledgeable, poignant and passionate. She would’ve been fabulous. Secondly, talk to working moms. I think this was good advice. Thirdly, talk to Sarah Palin. This was not immediately obvious until I read the author’s description of why – “only because her grasp of the English language is so tenuous and fraught with peril that every time she opened her mouth, whatever cause she is advocating get set back 20 years.” A female drug addict. Loretta Lynn. Kathy Griffin, comedian and actress who was talked about her Catholic faith.

Paul Krugman, in the following graph, points out that austerity has not worked in Europe. Those countries who have forced austerity measures and decreased government spending are now, two years later, worse off.

from Paul Krugman

Simply put, Americans do well when unions do well.

Do you remember Elizabeth Smart? She was the 14-year-old girl who was kidnapped in Salt Lake City. She was held for nine months. She just got married. I wish her and her new groom well. After that ridiculously harrowing experience, she, like all of us, deserves happiness.

Here’s the golf shot of the day –

Any thoughts, questions, concerns? What’s on your mind?