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Sunday, February 1, 2009
Disgorge, Fire, Prosecute (Don't Forget Paulson) and Next Time Do Let's Ask More Relevant Questions Before, Not After, Please
More excellent ideas from Maureen Dowd in the Times about what to do with those Wall Street looters here
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Saturday, January 31, 2009
You Gotta Love Her
I'd never heard of Sen. Claire McCaskill, Democrat from Missouri, before Friday. But who could argue with her hammering of bonus-glutted Wall Street fat cats on the Senate floor? "They don't get it. These people are idiots. You can't use taxpayer money to pay out $18 billion in bonuses... What planet are these people on?" McCaskill proposed legislation to cap executive pay at any company getting federal bailout money at $400,000, or the U.S. president's salary. "Right now, they're on the hook to us. And they owe us something more than a fancy waste basket and a $15-million dollar jet. They owe us some common sense." Okay, her language was refreshingly direct, but in truth she could have gone further. She could have capped their salary closer to many of the rest of us, say, $20,000 or $30,000. And she could have used, not only the "i" word, but the "c" word. Can you spell c-r-i-m-i-n-a-l?
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Friday, January 30, 2009
From Vermont, An FDR-Inspired Call To Accountability
With all the fevered talk about the economic crisis, there has been remarkably little talk about making accountable those Wall Street bankers, flim-flam artists and other speculators who got us into this mess. A bracing exception to the see-no-evil-hear-no-evil rule is the tireless Bernie Sanders, Independent Senator from Vermont, who is asking some hard questions – as in, who, how, why? – that would make FDR proud.
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GOP Lawmakers Outnumber Democratic Lawmakers 2 To 1 In Stimulus Debate On Cable News
Think Progress is reporting today: ...the cable networks are still turning more often to Republicans and allowing them to set the agenda on major issues, most recently on the debate over the economic recovery package.
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We May Be Thugs, But We're Profitable Ones
This week's announcement that Iraq has denied Blackwater Worldwide an operating license to provide so-called security protection to U.S. officials there seemed like promising news. But Blackwater, known for its history of excessive force and its 2007 killing of Iraqi civilians, is doing just fine, thanks, pretty much everywhere else.
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Thursday, January 29, 2009
Good News, Always Worthy of Note, and Thanks
Barack Obama today signed the first bill of his presidency: the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which restores the rights of workers - in this case, a woman - to sue in the face of workplace discrimination. Obama called the bill "a simple fix to ensure fundamental fairness to American workers."
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As Maine Goes, So Goes the Nation: Oh Wise and Generous Souls of Wall Street, We Salute You
Seen on a frigid corner in Portland as the cars swoop by, a new wretched soul, a new wretched sign: "Lobsterman Out of Work. Please Help."
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Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Giving the Mundane Its Beautiful Due
How sad to read of John Updike's death Tuesday at the age of 76. As one headline put it, "Rabbit is gone." For many of us, the much-celebrated author of a lifetime of novels, stories, essays and reviews found his voice most powerfully and poignantly in his four "Rabbit" novels about small-town, middle-class American life, and Harry 'Rabbit' Angstrom's often ludicrously flawed journey through it. Updike saw Rabbit as a "purposely representative" male of his generation, a high school basketball star turned car salesman and lousy husband and father floundering through the untidy realities of love, sex, marriage and changing times. His aim, he once said, was to "give the mundane its beautiful due." He did so in prose that was graceful, precise, keenly observed, rich with pitch-perfect metaphors that stopped in our tracks even those of us who usually don't like metaphors. "Writing makes you more human," Updike said, and so did reading him. He will be missed.
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Check Out Bush Checking Out
A NYT interview with Reuters head photo editor re: Bush's January 15th farewell address: And I turned to one of my editors - First I said, "Oh, my God." And he said, "What?" And I said, "You've got to see this picture of Bush. This is really stunning... If he wasn't just back there behind that door crying, I don't know what that look on his face is."
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Ever Hear The One About When Gary Cooper and Mahatma Gandhi Went Into A Bar And....
Once and (Almost) Future King Rod Blagojevich, Illinois' recently impeached governor, has been making the rounds of talk shows to defend his, ummm, honor. For an equally hilarious, terrifying view of a nationally televised train wreck, check out the TPM montage of his arguments here. Ed.'s note: Make sure you stay for the possibly-horse-stealing cowboy story.
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