March 30, 2009
Last week Barack Obama met with top executives of US banks. This was his message to the banks: bonuses are not acceptable.
That's right. Not just "excessive" bonuses or bonuses paid with bailout money. But bonuses. Period. They are unacceptable while other Americans are struggling to make ends meet.
Really? Well this American, while no longer employed by a US bank, put his bonus to good use, paying off some accumulated debt and stashing some more into savings.
You know what I find unacceptable? A POTUS who sees fit to dictate actions to individuals and businesses in this country.
What about the banks who took the TARP money, you say? Shouldn't the government be given oversight into their operation? Normally I'd say that you have a point, except that banks who wanted to decline acceptance of said funds were told that that was not an option. Here's how it goes:
1) Government "offers" some money to banks who made stupid loan decisions.
2) Bank decides that its balance sheets are already leveling out and therefore declines the money from the government.
3) Government strong arms bank into taking the money, saying that it is not allowed to decline the money.
4) Government then claims ability to tell bank how to run its business owing to the bank's acceptance of money.
All I can say is that it's good work if you can get it. I hear that some neighborhood lending institutions** work in pretty much the same way.
** If I have to explain that phrase to you, you really need to get out more.
March 20, 2009
He's my representative in Congress, but he won't be come 1/20/2011 if I have my way. Fucker.
March 19, 2009
Update: Obviously, John Cole and I disagree over the whole filibuster thing. Excerpt:
As for the filibuster bullshit, we slit our own damned throats with that. I would like an up or down vote on nominees, but I just don't have it in me to lie about the situation.
We changed the rules of the game, and then acted all shocked when the Democrats (who are in no way without sin) got pissed. We stopped the blue slips and other options once we became the majority. The Constitutional issue is nothing more than nonsense to sell the naked power grab, and that is what it was. Bush never expected for all of his judges to get confirmed- no reasonable President would.
See, here's where I think that John might not be seeing the big picture. Does he really think that the next time the Democrats hold the power in the Senate that they won't change the Senate rules to suit their purposes? After all, Robert Byrd did it in the not so distant past, reducing the number of votes for cloture from 67 down to 60.
Let's go all out in this example. Hillary becomes president in 2008 and the Dem's sweep to power in the Senate riding on her coattails. Now imagine that she nominates some left-wing ideologue who believes that it's okey-dokey to legislate from the bench. Now the Republicans decide to filisbuster this unreasonable candidate. Does John actually believe that the Democrats will spend more than a few minutes trying to find some sort of compromise to get an up-or-down vote in the Senate? I don't think so. After some public appearances decrying the Republicans' stonewalling, the Senate Democrats will change the filibuster rule so that cloture can be invoked with only 51 votes for judges. Once the judicial filibuster is broken, those same 51 Democrats will then vote en masse for whomever Hillary nominated. Count on it.
Now I will grant you that a couple of things are off: Hillary didn't win. However, another committed leftist did, along with a legion of congressional Democrats. Also, the Dems are talking about ending -more or less- the filibuster for legislative items, not judicial nominations. I guess that even I wasn't cynical enough to expect that. Silly me.
Anyway. It's now a few years later and John thinks that the Dems idea is just fine and dandy. Here's the response that I left in the comments: more...
March 11, 2009
If Rush's presence looms too large for the political landscape, it's because of the total vacuity of the Republican leadership, which seems to be in a dithering funk. Rush isn't responsible for the feebleness of Republican voices or the thinness of Republican ideas. Only ignoramuses believe that Rush speaks for the Republican Party. On the contrary, Rush as a proponent of heartland conservatism has waged open warfare with the Washington party establishment for years.
President Obama should yank the reins and get his staff's noses out of slash-and-burn petty politics. His own dignity and prestige are on the line. If he wants a second term, he needs to project a calmer perspective about the eternal reality of vociferous opposition, which is built into our democratic system. Right now, the White House is starting to look like Raphael's scathing portrait of a pampered, passive Pope Leo X and his materialistic cardinals -- one of the first examples of an artist sending a secret, sardonic message to posterity. Do those shifty, beady-eyed guys needing a shave remind you of anyone? Yes, it's bare-knuckles Chicago pugilism, transplanted to Washington. The charitably well-meaning but hopelessly extravagant Leo X, by the way, managed to mishandle the birth of the Protestant Reformation, which permanently split Christianity.
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