If you love your country, (for USA residents), watch the video below. MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann sometimes borders on committing the same sins of hyperbole and one-sidedness that he rightfully calls out the likes of Hannity and Glenn Beck for on a regular basis. Every now and then I’m reminded he is truly on a different intellectual plane than his detractors when he delivers an especially hard-hitting, well-reasoned “Special Comment” that spares no one, not even the political leaders with which we all may think he is normally aligned.
Tonight was such a night, with Keith coming to the Shirley Sherrod fray guns a ‘blazin. He really had me when he said to President Barack Obama – beseeching him to return to the ‘Fired Up – Ready to Go’ Barack – “We’re in a freaking war out here!”
Watch Olbermann, you’ll know of which war he speaks. And, even if you’re not on his side, perhaps some of his words will at least make you think about where you’re getting your information — and what you’re doing with it.
Source: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Chairman Ben S. Bernanke
Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress
Before the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.
July 21, 2010
Chairman Dodd, Senator Shelby, and members of the Committee, I am pleased to present the Federal Reserve’s semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress.
Economic and Financial Developments
The economic expansion that began in the middle of last year is proceeding at a moderate pace, supported by stimulative monetary and fiscal policies. Although fiscal policy and inventory restocking will likely be providing less impetus to the recovery than they have in recent quarters, rising demand from households and businesses should help sustain growth. In particular, real consumer spending appears to have expanded at about a 2-1/2 percent annual rate in the first half of this year, with purchases of durable goods increasing especially rapidly. However, the housing market remains weak, with the overhang of vacant or foreclosed houses weighing on home prices and construction.
Ohio Newspapers’ Public Pension Systems Project
- Many top educators double dip the system – Akron Beacon Journal
- School chiefs get better deal than teachers – Akron Beacon Journal
- Double dipping saps pension funds as school superintendents cash in – Toledo Blade/Akron Beacon Journal
- Pension rules encourage retire-rehire deals – Dayton Daily News
- Double dipping state and local employees collect paycheck & pension – The Plain Dealer
- Ohio taxpayers pay for state workers’ pensions but it’s all cloaked in secrecy – Akron Beacon Journal
- Pensions lobby has power at the Statehouse – Toledo Blade
Tea Baggers and Loyal to a Fault Republicans will be interested to know that The One (Ronald Wilson Reagan) had essentially the same approval rating after a year and a half in office as that of President Barack Obama. The screen grab below comes from Gallup’s Presidential Job Approval Center, which is an interactive way to track and compare presidential job approval ratings all the way back to Harry Truman. If you haven’t already clicked the link above, click the image below to go to Gallup’s site. Check out the tabs in the interface to discover all of the depth in these stats and their presentation. Oh, and for the record, after 507 days in office: Reagan 45% and Obama 46%.
BP Covering Up Wildlife Deaths Due to Spill?
Finance, Markets, Economy
- Markets Pricing in ‘Paradigm Change’ – El-Arian – CNBC
- Best Buy profits don’t meet target - CNBC
- Data and BP top market agenda - MarketWatch
- Efforts to control gulf spill described as ‘chaotic’ - New York Times
- Setbacks cloud U.S. plan to exit Afghanistan – New York Times
- Banks Yielding on Volcker, Picking Other Fights – New York Times
- Kasich’s tax returns flip flop - Columbus Dispatch
- Editorial: Your tax dollars at work - Columbus Dispatch
- U.S. man arrested in Pakistan for Hunting bin-Laden – Agence France Presse
- More Alvin Greene - Washington Post
From the FBI today regarding the release of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy’s bureau files:
This release consists of material from seven FBI files—three Headquarters files and four field division files, totaling more then 2,200 pages. It covers the FBI’s relationship with Senator Kennedy from 1961 to 1985. At no point do these files suggest that the FBI investigated Senator Kennedy for a criminal violation or as a security threat. The bulk of this material concerns FBI investigation of threats of violence and other extortion claims against Senator Kennedy and other public officials.
A quick scan of the docs, actually shows that there are some going up to 1991. If you’d like to view the files you can find them here.
“Are You Impaired?”
If you’re looking for a lot of information on the BP oil spill and what the government is doing, this site has its pluses and minuses. For instance, you can find the disposition of some U.S. Coast Guard assets and transcripts of media briefings. On the minus side, when you click the link for Oiled Wildlife, you’re taken to a page with no pictures or statistics of the devastation, but there is a phone number to call if you encounter an oiled bird or other animal. Even more manipulative than the dearth of information on oiled wildlife is the cute picture of a pristine, baby sea turtle on the homepage of this PR-driven site.
One way to kick someone’s ass over this tragedy would be to put the whole truth out there for the American people. Federal government fails with this site. It’s so benign it’s ludicrous.
- Op-Ed, Thomas Suddes: Pandering in Ohio is a Two Party Business – The Plain Dealer
- Editorial: What Price are Cafaros Paying? – The Vindicator
- Kasich and His ‘Bible Guys’ – Columbus Dispatch
- Op-Ed, Brent Larkin: Close Races Brewing in Ohio – The Plain Dealer
- Editorial: Ohio Senate Vacation Extends Foreclosure Follies – The Plain Dealer
- NRA Working Ohio Legislature – Columbus Dispatch
- ODOT Looks for Future Funding of Rest Areas – The Plain Dealer
- Op-Ed, Joe Hallett: Redistricting Reform Falls Prey to Dreams of Power – Columbus Dispatch
- Op-Ed, Jonathan Riskind: Election Surprises Loom in November – Columbus Dispatch
- Editorial: Dollar by Dollar – Akron Beacon Journal
- Editorial: Dollar by Dollar (Part II) – Akron Beacon Journal
- Editorial: Ohio Late but on Right Testing Track – Dayton Daily News
- Tobacco Lobbyist Biggest Boehner Donor – Columbus Dispatch
- Kilroy on FinReg Conference Committee – Columbus Dispatch
- Brown, Voinovich Work to Fund Nuclear Cleanup – Columbus Dispatch
- Increasing Number of Mahoning Valley Families Face Foreclosure – The Vindicator
- Sex Offender Registration Force Some Underground – The Plain Dealer
- Do Sex-Offender Laws Make Us Safer? – The Plain Dealer
- 17.5% of Ohioans Underemployed – Dayton Daily News
- Dayton-Cincy Corridor Important to U.S. Exports – Dayton Daily News
- Commercial Properties Selling at Deep Discounts – Dayton Daily News
- Op-Ed, Michael Douglas: An Energy Revolution for the Great Lakes – Akron Beacon Journal
It’s totally reasonable and inevitable that the share price of BP would suffer mercilessly from the company’s gargantuan liability in the Gulf of Mexico. Earlier this week I created the following chart of BP’s daily closing share price for it’s U.S.-listed shares.
When Interior Secretary Ken Salazar opined publicly that the company ought to be responsible for all unemployment claims related to the federal government’s six month moratorium on offshore Gulf drilling, BP’s stock took an especially nasty dive to a 14-year low on Wednesday. I hope that the Obama Administration’s efforts to turn public opinion back in the president’s favor on this mess don’t backfire and kill what this country needs to be the proverbial “Golden Goose” for the next several years. A heavily-regulated and monitored BP – in a strong financial position – is the company that will be able to afford the tens of billions of dollars needed to make the people and environment of the Gulf Coast whole.
Believing in Ohio:
Gov. Ted Strickland’s 2010 State of the State Address
January 26, 2010
(Source: Office of the Governor, State of Ohio)
Speaker Budish, President Harris and Chief Justice Moyer. President Harris and Chief Justice Moyer will both be retiring at the end of this year. This is their last State of the State as public officials and I want to thank them for their service to Ohio. Leader Batchelder and Leader Cafaro, Lt. Governor Fisher, statewide elected officials, members of the Cabinet, and a special word of thanks to Director Terry Collins who is retiring after 33 years of service to the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, members of the General Assembly and the Supreme Court, distinguished guests, First Lady Frances Strickland, and my fellow Ohioans…
I believe in Ohio.
- New York wants less salt in food – New York Times
- Now N. Korea wants peace treaty to keep talking - New York Times
- Blagojevich says ‘I’m blacker than Barack Obama … ‘ – Chicago Tribune
- Illinois’ unpaid bills reach $5 billion – Chicago Tribune
- Flare up of violence in Tijuana – L.A. Times
- A complaint in China could land you in a ‘black jail’ – L.A. Times
- AP Analysis: Stimulus has had no effect on employment – Associated Press (via The Plain Dealer)
- Heineken bids for FEMSA – MarketWatch
- Goldman Sachs Execs May be Forced to Give to Charity – CNBC
- China now world’s largest auto market – Bloomberg
Sen. Harry Reid
- Reid Apologizes for ‘Negro’ remarks – New York Times
- Op-Ed – Sandy Banks: It’s Not Reid Who Should Apologize – L.A. Times
- Dems launch offensive to save Reid – Politico
- GOP claim Lott-Reid Double Standard – Politico
Filed under: Economy, Foreign Policy, National Security, Politics
(Source: ABC News)
ABC’S “THIS WEEK WITH GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS”
STEPHANOPOULOS: Major milestone this week here in Iraq with the American troops pulling out of the cities. And I wonder if you can put the broader American mission in context. Are we in the process of securing victory or cutting our losses to come home?
BIDEN: Securing victory. Look, the president and I laid out a plan in the campaign which was twofold. One, withdraw our troops from Iraq in a rational timetable consistent with what the Iraqis want. And the same time, leave behind a stable and secure country.
And one of the reasons I’m here, George, is to push the last end of that, which is the need for political settlement on some important issues between Arabs and Kurds and among the confessional groups. And I think we’re well on our way.
This guy is a freakin’ basket case. According to the shit show I just watched on CNN he met some gal several years ago and began boinking her a year ago. Apparently he wasn’t in the Appalachians clearing his mind – he was in Argentina clearing his apple sack.
The Lovernor said years ago he counseled his now mistress to save her own marriage because it was God’s Law (is he Jewish?) and for her kids. Apparently when it came to to his toeing the line of God’s Law and honoring his own kids (and wife) the calculus was different.
This is another Family Values Hypocrite for the Hall of Shame. No politician should ever lecture anyone on “values” and get religious on us when they have no idea what pox will come down upon their house.
(Source: ABC News This Week with George Stephanopolous)
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, HOST: Madam Secretary, thanks very much for doing this.
HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: I’m glad to see you, George.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You know, we were just talking about Cairo, did you ever imagine you’d be here as secretary of state?
CLINTON: Never. (LAUGHTER)
CLINTON: Never crossed my mind. And what an extraordinary honor to be here, especially for this speech today.
STEPHANOPOULOS: The president has a very high-powered team, Vice President Biden, General Jones, Secretary Gates. You’ve got envoys for Iran, Afghanistan, North Korea. How do you fit in?
(LAUGHTER) CLINTON: Well, I&
STEPHANOPOULOS: What is your role, exactly?
Must Read: Wall Streeters Call for Reform & Say Federal Efforts to Combat Financial Crisis Inch Wide, Mile Deep
America and the world have found out the hard way how Wall Street’s fast and loose ways hurt regular folks more than the fatcats with Gulf Stream jets and golden parachutes. It’s heartening to see at least two creatures of The Street find religion and evangelize the good news of reform.
Sandy B. Lewis and William D. Cohan do just that in an op-ed piece headlined, The Economy is Still at the Brink, in Saturday’s New York Times. It’s a shame that the editors at the Times decided to run their important message in Saturday’s edition rather than Monday morning when it might have attracted more attention from the likes of CNBC or the day’s cable news cycle. Cast against the constant stream of “Everything’s Fine,” from the Obama Administration to the likes of Jim Cramer, Lewis and Cohan’s message is succinct and important to the long run of the U.S. economy.
In short, the pair are telling us that the structural issues with American high finance are still there, Bush and Obama Administration efforts to staunch the bleeding are merely fingers in Wall Street’s dike, the current system is too heavily weighted in favor of ‘insiders’ and a program of real reform is needed to restore full confidence and ensure a system that works for all levels of the economy.
Here are some take aways from their piece:
- If nearly everyone agreed six months ago that our banking system was a sham, why is every government program or action directed at preserving the old order? Lewis and Cohan say to start with compensating executives well for moving the ball, but create a system where their net worth is tied to their failures as well.
- The writers wonder why so many federal resources are going to propping up those at the top of the financial pyramid – the big banks and insurers – when recovery will come only when the bottom of the pyramid gets more confident.
- Rather than talk of the “imminent return” of the “good times” President Barack Obama should be messaging America with “living within our means.”
- For the “long term health of the market” shareholders and other investors in the big banks need to feel the “market’s wrath.” No more rescues for the banks that created the mess.
- More market discipline and fewer government bailouts – where will the federal government draw the line?
- Fewer academics should be advising the president and he should make room for more folks saavy in trading and markets – not to have the fox guard the henhouse, but to design incentives that will work to revive the capital markets.
- More transparency in the entire system – from providing the same real-time market information to citizens that’s available to Goldman Sachs or Morgan Stanley – to replacing the marketing exercise known as financialstability.gov with real information.
- Go after the bigwigs who brought this pox upon us – either through truth commissions or the same way the FBI prosecutes the mafia.
There’s a lot more detail in what Cohan and Lewis wrote – go check it out.
Does anyone else think it’s troubling that more than half of Americans think that an extra-judicial, unconstitutional prison camp run by the U.S. government is O.K.?
Jeffrey Dahmer killed man-boys, butchered them, stored their choice cuts in the freezer and made stew with the rest. We put that sick fuck in a U.S. prison. The analysis of this should say, ” 75% of Americans aren’t even thinking this one through …”
As the former bag man for the Republican Party, Jack Abramoff, serves a federal jail sentence his wife and five kids are apparently languishing just above the poverty line in a house they can’t afford with a leaky roof.
The Washington Post reports tonight that Abramoff’s lawyers are petitioning the federal government to release – to them – a $500,000 tax refund owed Abramoff by the federal government. Ostensibly, this is so Abramoff can pay his bills. How much you want to bet that those first in line to be paid are Abramoff’s attorneys?
The Post also points out that Abramoff is under a court order to make restitution to Indian tribes he bilked out of tens of millions before any of his assets go anywhere.
Jack Abramoff and his lawyers should go pound salt. His wife and kids on the other hand, someone needs to sack up and take care of them.
How do you think it was in Abramoff’s heyday? Jack had all the access to most of the levers of power and was the crown prince of Tom DeLay’s K Street Project. He made a ton of money and he made a lot of other people money through opening doors and working his once ample Rolodex. Jack used his connections and when time and events were right, his connections used him.
I’m sure it was all smiles and backslaps and cocktails.
Fast forward to Abramoff’s undoing and in the time it takes to chomp the olive off the end of the little plastic sword, Jack’s got no friends.
Here’s an idea for Grover Norquist and Ralph Reed, former Abramoff confidantes and eternal fucknuts. Guys, why don’t you pull out your “family values” talking points, circa 1994, and begin calling your friends. Try Dr. Dobson, Tom DeLay, Newt — call ‘em all. Take up a collection, pass the hat. For goodness sake, take care of Jack’s wife and kids.
If you’re afraid firing up the old Christian Coalition phone bank will attract too much attention, how about the two of you pooling your resources and getting Mrs. Abramoff’s roof fixed?
You know, when I read the Post story tonight I wasn’t surprised about lawyers trying to bleed the last $500,000 out of Jack Abramoff. I guess I’m not surprised about the Republican “family” not helping out Mrs. Abramoff — just disgusted.
This is kind of annoying – for it’s total lack of saying anything of any substance:
Readout of The President’s Meeting with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia
President Obama and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia met today and discussed a wide range of issues including Middle East peace, the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan, energy, Iran and other matters affecting the region. The President and the King also discussed the President’s upcoming speech to the Muslim world. The President and King pledged to remain in close contact in order to continue to make progress on these and other issues central to the US-Saudi relationship.
This came, “Immediate Release,” for God’s Sake! LMAO. How about if the White House just released the President’s public schedule each day. For the 30 minutes it took some young press aide to sweat over the drivel above and the layers of approval it probably went through, is it really worth it?
Exercises like the one above are not transparency.