- If you read just a little bit about the Great Recession, then you know that whenever one of the big Wall Street firms was in trouble, Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and even Morgan Stanley, they all at one time or another called Warren Buffett for an emergency loan. So it is interesting that Bank of America just got an infusion of $5 billion from Warren Buffett. Bank of America is having trouble fending off lawsuits over its Countrywide acquisition. It appears that several parties believe that countrywide acted in a fraudulent manner and continue to sue countrywide for large sums of money, with which Bank of America needs to settle. Warren Buffett’s infusion of cash does help.
- Hispanics are currently the largest minority group in college. They have just recently surpassed Blacks. All I can say is that we need more Americans in college. We need more Americans to graduate college. We need more government loans and grants to help pay for the ever-increasing expense that is college.
- Ben Bernanke, the Fed Chairman, and the rest of the world’s financial gurus are all gathered at Jackson Hole, Wyoming. This is the annual Fed meeting. This is the meeting where you would expect a lot of discussion and then finally a brilliant intervention to fix what is ailing our economy. Don’t expect it. With Republicans mired in reactionary policies which are going to hurt the economy and the Democrats mired in indecision, as usual, the Fed is stuck in molasses.
- Pakistan is
becomingthe new wild wild West.
- The US economy is growing, although it is growing at a very slow pace.
- One of the few programs that the government has instituted to help homeowners was buried in the Trouble Asset Relief Program. Over $45 billion was set aside to help homeowners fend off foreclosure. Only $2 billion of that has been used. Somehow, that money is going to be rolled back into the treasury in order to pay down the deficit.
- The manufacturing sector expanded modestly this month.
- Our own obesity is starting to cost us billions of dollars. Estimates that obesity is going to cost us over $66 billion by the year 2030 are hard to swallow (pun intended). As we struggle with our healthcare costs, we’re going to have to address the obesity crisis in the United States.
Rick Perry. What can I say. He has had a busy week.
As Texas Gov. Rick Perry wraps up his first week as a Republican presidential candidate, he’s apparently not inclined to back off some of his nuttier comments.
Here he is today on biological science:
Rick Perry continued to voice skepticism about evolution during a campaign stop in South Carolina Friday, telling a supporter “God is how we got here.” […]
When a woman in South Carolina congratulated him for his remarks Friday, Perry replied “Well, God is how we got here. God may have done it in the blink of the eye or he may have done it over this long period of time, I don’t know. But I know how it got started.”
And here he is on climate science:
Of his statement that global warming is essentially a hoax, Perry said: “I just happen to believe the Earth’s temperature has been moving up and down for milleniums now.” He claimed that scientists disagree on the cause and continued, “I happen to be one who is skeptical.”
And here’s Perry on reports that congressional Republicans were concerned about his rhetorical excesses about the Fed:
Perry didn’t back away from his statement that the Fed’s quantitative easing policy was nearly “treasonous,” responding: “I’m passionate about the Obama administration’s monetary policy.” […]
“I’m sorry if I offended a congressman but the fact of the matter is I’m representing the American people out here,” Perry said.
Does Perry realize that Ben Bernanke is a Republican, originally appointed by Bush? And that this isn’t the Obama administration’s monetary policy? More to the point, raise your hand if you think Rick Perry knows what a monetary policy is.
Long story short, I think Bruce Bartlett was onto something.
Now, if recent history is any guide, Perry deciding to double down on, well, everything will lead more reporters to swoon. Chris Cillizza, noting the governor’s argument that the Fed would be acting in a “treasonous” way if it tried to boost the economy, described the governor this week as “brash, bold and unapologetic about being so.”
If political reporters see all of Perry’s reckless and controversial comments through an agreed-upon lens — he’s the Texas Tough Guy Cowboy who doesn’t care about niceties — then every time the candidate says something outrageous, media outlets won’t even bother to take him to task. After all, it’ll just be Perry being Perry.
It’s going to be a long campaign.
- In a bit of a surprise, new U.S. home sales jumped 9.6% in July, beating analysts’ expectations for the fourth straight month.
- The Cash for Clunkers program wrapped up this week, and led to nearly 700,000 new car sales. The program, which most have deemed a success, came in under its $3 billion budget.
- South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford’s (R) troubles got worse today when Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer (R) urged Sanford to resign, and vowed not to seek another term if the governor would finally step down. Sanford said he would not be “railroaded” out of office.
- If Massachusetts lawmakers are still willing to change the process for replacing U.S. senators, Gov. Deval Patrick (D) would sign a bill into law.
- Funeral arrangements were announced today for Edward Kennedy. He will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery, just 95 feet south of the area where his older brothers, President John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy, were laid to rest.
- Vice President Biden delivered a heartfelt tribute to Kennedy today. The two served together for nearly four decades.
- The Vietnam Veterans of America, a national advocacy group, is not at all impressed with the vile, right-wing “death book” attacks.
- Betsy McCaughey continues to be poison for the political discourse.Karl Rove and Rush Limbaugh are no better.
- In light of President Obama’s decision to re-nominate Ben Bernanke at the Fed, James K. Galbraith’s piece in the new issue of the Monthly is all the more significant.
- You know that attack on the Colorado Democratic Party Headquarters? The initial reports suggested it was the work of enraged right-wing activists. There may be more to it than that.
- It looks like Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) is going for the full “birther” after all.
- And, as the anniversary of the Hurricane Katrina disaster approaches, right-wing radio host Neal Boortz today referred to the victims of the story as human “debris.” You stay classy, conservatives.
Thanks to Political Animal for this Round Up. Now, I have to get back to work!