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Posts Tagged ‘GOP’

From the Washington Post:

The fervent courtship [between Obama and Congressional Republicans] is turning the debate on the economic package into a test of whether the Obama White House can put an end to years of distrust between the parties and overcome their recent inability to shape consensus legislation.

Isn’t it funny that when the GOP controlled both the legislative and executive branches the Washington Post and the rest of the “news” media cared neither a jot nor a tittle for consensus?

When Republicans routinely refused to inform Democrats when and where committee meetings were being held or refused to allow (or severely limited) Democrats who made it to those committee meetings a chance to speak, or when Republicans refused to allow Democrats their right to offer amendments to legislation, consensus was not very high on the Post’s — or the rest of the media’s — agenda. For the most part, the so-called liberal media failed to cover the GOP’s disenfranchisement of Congressional Democrats and, by extension, their constituents. Now that the Democratic Party controls the White House and Congress, “consensus” (which is code for giving Republicans whatever the fuck they want) is suddenly all important.

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Stick a fork in the bastard, he’s done:

Ted Stevens, the longest-serving Senate Republican in history and patriarch of Alaska politics, was found guilty of felony charges for making false statements.

The verdict could spell the end of a 40-year Senate career for a man who rose to be one of the most dominant figures in the upper chamber and who helped transform Alaska in its 50 years of statehood. The verdict was reached after the jury deliberated since Wednesday and found the 84-year-old senator guilty of failing to report more than $250,000 in gifts from Bill Allen, the former head of Veco Corp., and other friends.

The jury did not seem to buy the explanation from Stevens that Allen showered him with gifts he didn’t want and was unaware of, and that he believed the $160,000 he gave to another contractor covered all costs for the home renovations.

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Regarding the Grand Theft Bailout: “Boehner Calls Bill A “crap Sandwich” — But He’ll Vote For It.”

Way to stick to your guns, John; you were the one monkey-wrenching this thing on Thursday and Friday:

House Republican Leader John Boehner, of West Chester in Butler County, has emerged as the main deal breaker in talks surrounding the proposed $700 billion bailout of the financial markets.

Boehner was one of 14 congressional and administration officials to take part in a meeting at the White House on Thursday, after which the deal that some lawmakers had said going into the closed-door session was nearly done fell apart.

Both Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., in remarks made after the meeting, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., in comments made Friday morning, referred to “House Republicans” as the culprit for breaking up the deal.

As the leader of the House Republicans, they are talking about Boehner.

What a difference a day made, huh? And what a miserable situation that we actually have to hope that House Republicans will buck Boehner and do the right thing by derailing this legislative freight train, because the Democratic majority in Congress has made it clear that it will not behave in a fiscally-responsible manner. Talk about role reversals.

Jesus. Fucking. CHRIST.

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This is just pathetic. All emphasis added:

At the insistence of House Republicans, some of the program’s $700 billion would be devoted to a program that would encourage holders of distressed mortgage-backed securities to keep them and buy government insurance to cover defaults

Meaning that the institutions will now have an incentive to hold the securities until that paper is absolutely worthless, thus enabling them to cash-in on their government insurance policies for a minimum guaranteed pay-out no doubt higher than what the market would offer. In other words, this bailout is going to cost much more than the current numbers being thrown at us, and will be a pain in the ass economically for several years, constantly draining the Treasury of funds for infrastructure and other expenditures that are more important.

The proposed legislation also calls for the financial sector to help make up the difference if the government does not recoup its investment in five years, [“a senior administration official who was authorized to speak only on background”] said, but details were unclear.

That’s funny; when someone speaks on background it’s usually because they’re not allowed to speak at all on the subject they’re gabbing about. I won’t be surprised if many of these statements turn out to be trial balloons from the Bush Junta, sent in an effort to manipulate the final form of the legislation and therefore the vote on Monday.

To help struggling homeowners, the plan would require the government to try renegotiating the bad mortgages it acquires with the aim of lowering borrowers’ monthly payments so they can keep their homes… Democrats insisted on greater congressional oversight, more taxpayer protections, help for homeowners facing possible foreclosure, and restrictions on executives’ compensation.

To some degree, all those items were added.

Which begs the question, “To what degree?” Two-percent? Ten-percent? How much did the Democratic Party’s proposals get watered down?

At the insistence of House Republicans, who threatened to sidetrack negotiations at midweek, the insurance provision was added as an alternative to having the government buy distressed securities…

But the Treasury Department has said the insurance provision would not pump enough money into the financial sector to make credit sufficiently available.

And since that’s the case, there is no point in the insurance provision, is there?

Despite the changes made during an intense week of negotiations, the heart of the program remains Bush’s original idea: To have the government spend billions of dollars to buy mortgage-backed securities whose value has plummeted…

“We’re very pleased with the progress made tonight,” said White House spokesman Tony Fratto…

The Bush Junta’s White House is “very pleased.” If that doesn’t have your mental alarm bells ringing, how about this next part?

It was not immediately clear how many House Republicans might vote for the measure. With the election five weeks away, Democrats have said they would not push a plan that appeared sharply partisan in nature.

And THAT is the bloody problem, isn’t it? The plan SHOULD be partisan, and the partisan angle should be steeply leftward. Instead, the Democratic Party has embraced Obama’s idiotic centrist stance — and the only way to stay in the center is to STAY. IN. THE. CENTER.

Can’t make much leftward progress if you refuse to move left, can you?

(Link via Talk Left)

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…that’s Hank in the spotlight, losing his religion:

In the Roosevelt Room after the session, the Treasury secretary, Henry M. Paulson Jr., literally bent down on one knee as he pleaded with Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker, not to “blow it up” by withdrawing her party’s support for the package over what Ms. Pelosi derided as a Republican betrayal.

“I didn’t know you were Catholic,” Ms. Pelosi said, a wry reference to Mr. Paulson’s kneeling, according to someone who observed the exchange. She went on: “It’s not me blowing this up, it’s the Republicans.”

Mr. Paulson sighed. “I know. I know.”

I hope Obama didn’t see that display; you know how touchy he gets when someone other than himself is genuflected to.

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Via Susie Madrak comes a proposal from Robert Reich for alleviating, if not outright solving, the financial mess the Republicans and certain Democratic enablers in Congress (Dodd, Schumer, I’m looking at you) have brought on us.

Also via Susie comes a letter from an anonymous member of Congress printed by Matt Stoller, revealing the fact that sensible solutions from people such as Reich and Senator Clinton will fall on the deaf ears of Congressional Democrats because, as Arthur Silber puts it, the Democrats are “stupider than shit.”

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There’s only two reasons to refuse to work with members of your own party on solving the current financial crisis: A) Hiding your failure to act means not having to explain your negligence or B) hiding actions to deliberately make a bad situation worse might result in a hue and cry being raised against you by your own.

The current crisis is exactly what the Bush Junta wants, as it allows for further corporate consolidation in various industries while at the same time weakening the government and the economy until both result in America becoming identical to the last years of the Wiemar Republic, and a right-wing thug can hijack the country.

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