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So, what’s up? Friday morning (updated)

  • Dallas Mavericks are trying hard to blow their best chance to win an NBA championship. They looked tired, slow and disinterested. If they keep playing like this they will be able to watch the Thunder in the championship game.
  • Newt’s implosion is extremely interesting. It is almost as if he has jumped into a large bowl of tar and somehow he didn’t think that it was going to stick to him.
  • Even the lowly Chrysler looks like they have plans to pay our money back.
  • How about a constitutional amendment to over turn the Citizen United decision? Um, I don’t know about that.
  • Patriot Act has been extended in a double secret meeting. Dems and R’s agreed on something… anything. This should be a cause for celebration but something just doesn’t feel right about it.
  • Man walks after being paralyzed from the chest down with the aid of electrical stimulation and a computer. Totally Cool. (for those who want to read the scientific study, you can find it here.)

More on Newt Gingrich’s epic debacle. There is a reason that Newt Gingrich stepped down as Speaker of the House and has never run for another elected public office. This is not an accident. Newt Gingrich has a flair for over-the-top rhetoric. In order to paint himself in the best light, he will use the starkest metaphors to illustrate his point. So, to make himself seem like the biggest and best authority on Medicare, he contrasted himself against Paul Ryan and the Democrats. This was classic Newt Gingrich. Of course, he threw Paul Ryan and all of the other House Republicans off a bridge since he accused them of social engineering. He spent the better part of this week trying to weasel his way out of this epic mistake. In an effort to backtrack without looking weak he blasted those who criticize him and, of course, that included the great grand pooh-baw of everything conservative, Rush Limbaugh. PA has an excellent rundown on Newt’s week. Stephen Colbert took Newt Gingrich’s press release and asked John Lithgow to read it verbatim. This is funny.

By |2011-05-20T06:29:00-04:00May 20th, 2011|Domestic Issues, Party Politics|2 Comments

What's going on – News Roundup

Thursday Evening News Roundup

  • You know, after my being up all night, a short nap does not hit the spot like it used to. It takes some time for cobwebs to clear. So if most of what I wrote below doesn’t make any sense, feel free to write it off to a lack of sleep.
  • The stock market fell for the second day in a row. All the major indices were down. Standard & Poor’s changed its outlook for General Electric to “negative”. Exxon Mobil and Chevron lost approximately 5% as the cost of a barrel of oil fell below $36. (NPR has a nice story on the oil glut.) Auto stocks also fell as the White House continued to play around with the auto bailout.
  • The Office of Thrift Supervision (yes, that is the name of the actual federal office) has produced a 300-page report which outlines credit card companies “unfair,” “unreasonable” and “deceptive” practices. They banned together with the Federal Reserve and the National Credit Union Administration and new rule changes were proposed. These rule changes should help consumers; however, like everything in the Bush administration era, there is one last poke in the eye for the consumer. These rule changes do not take place until July 1, 2010. 2010? That’s ridiculous. I believe changes should be enacted by January 1, 2009, but that’s just my opinion.
  • I’ve mentioned the New York Times series The Reckoning, a series of articles that explores the causes of our financial crisis. After reading all of them, it is clear that not it was not one thing that caused the financial crisis. Instead, multiple and disparate occurrences created an atmosphere in which this crisis became possible. Today’s article looks at compensation on Wall Street. A 30-something trader making $180,000 a year could pull in a bonus of over $5 million back in 2006. Unfortunately, as the article points out, the record earnings of $7.5 billion (in 2006) for Merrill Lynch turned out to be (here we go again) Monopoly money. The earnings weren’t real but the bonuses were. This is an excellent article and is well worth taking the time to read.
  • This was the warmest year on record for the Arctic. The average temperature was a full 9°F above normal. This can’t be good.
  • Pirates in Somalia are living the good life. Some are making over $1 million a year.  Think of these pirates as Wall Street executives.  😉
  • The latest out of the White House on the bailout of Detroit is something called an “orderly” bankruptcy. The president spokesperson, Dana Perino, tried to explain what this was. I’m not sure that she quite gets it herself. Basically, as I understand it, some government person would oversee negotiations among investors, executives of General Motors and Chrysler, suppliers and the UAW. In my opinion, this means that everyone should do okay… except that the workers will be asked to sacrifice even more. (By the way, Chrysler announced that it will cease production for the rest of the year.)
  • Time for a little R&R.

  • President Bush spoke at the American Enterprise Institute (a conservative think tank) today. As he discussed his eight years in office, he commented on how he has decided to leave free-market economics and move “aggressively” to avoid another Great Depression. It would seem George W. Bush is trying to avoid being the century’s Herbert Hoover. Again, this could be considered part of President Bush’s “victory tour.” President Bush and Dick Cheney have done numerous interviews over the last 10 days which seem to be aimed at rewriting history. Rachel Maddow had an excellent segment on this a couple nights ago (see video clip below).(full video of the President is here.)

By |2008-12-18T19:24:45-04:00December 18th, 2008|Bush Administration, Economy, Environment|Comments Off on What's going on – News Roundup

UAW willing to go the extra mile

Senator Bob Corker basically came out of nowhere to insert himself into the auto industry negotiations. During his two years in the Senate he has been invisible. Now he steps forward and asks the UAW to take pay cuts.

The UAW president responds in the video clip below:

CNN now reports that the White House is considering using a portion of the $700 billion bailout funds to help the auto industry.

From CNN:

The Bush administration said Friday that it will consider using the money set aside to help banks and Wall Street to rescue the auto industry.

The statement — a change in the administration’s long-held position — might be the last best chance to keep troubled automakers General Motors (GM, Fortune 500) and Chrysler LLC out of bankruptcy.

The defeat of a $14 billion bailout plan in the Senate late Thursday left the administration little choice but to tap the $700 billion bailout approved by Congress in October, the Troubled Asset Relief Program or TARP, according to White House Press Secretary Dana Perino. (more… )

By |2008-12-12T11:11:46-04:00December 12th, 2008|Bush Administration, Economy, Senate|Comments Off on UAW willing to go the extra mile
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