New York magazine has a great piece about the proposed Muslim mosque that has the wingnuts in such a twist, and we learn the real reason for the location: The real estate market!
Haley Barbour will go there when he dies:
Yesterday on CBS’ Face The Nation, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour applauded conservative Alaska Senate candidate Joe Miller for opposing federal aid to his own state.
On what grounds? Because slashing state budgets in the middle of a recession is no big deal.
Gov. Barbour said: “As far as talking about less money [from Washington], look, my budget this year in Mississippi is 13% less than it was two years ago. I cut spending 9.7% last year. Frankly, nobody much noticed the difference. People weren’t kicked off Medicaid.”
Funny story: On the same day, Gov. Barbour said no one was kicked off Medicaid, the Mississippi’s Clarion-Ledger headlined: “Medicaid winnows out some children.”
Not all children of course. Just some with Down syndrome.
Go read the rest.
Glenn has the details. The Center for Constitutional Rights and the ACLU have been granted a license to sue the U.S. for ordering the assassination of Anwar Awlaki, an American citizen, without due process.
They’re also proceeding with a lawsuit challenging the procedure that requires them to get permission to sue.
Even though I live in a big city, the neighborhoods are really more like small towns and from what I hear, this was the really big news while I was gone.
Just as a point of interest, there is nothing that makes Philadelphians madder than to have the local news misidentify a location — and in this case, they’re right. The torpedo was found in Fishtown, not Port Richmond.
Some people are consumed with the fear that some people, somewhere, are having a good time.
And remember, kids, the house always wins!
On Aug. 20, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission sponsored an open forum on derivatives regulation. Industry representatives, trade groups, investor advocates and regulators discussed how to put into practice Congress’s desire for a more closely supervised market in derivatives.
Because the most potentially nuclear forms of derivatives are privately arranged and loosely monitored, two clear goals of the legislation are greater price transparency and the opening of transactions to more market participants.
But not everyone wants these aims to be met. And early signs indicate that the big firms currently in control of the derivatives market view the rules-writing process as an opportunity to maintain the status quo in one of their most lucrative lines of business — or win back what they feel they lost amid the legislative wrangling earlier this year.
The question is this: Will regulators give Wall Street’s big dealers what they want in a second bite of the apple?
You know, I’ve always thought she seemed like a good egg. Always happy to see some substance behind a PR image!
THE TRADITONAL gift for a fifth anniversary is wood, but for the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Sandra Bullock gave a health clinic.
She returned yesterday to the New Orleans high school that she helped rebuild for the clinic’s opening.
Bullock, whose adopted son was born in the Big Easy, joined a host of educators, school supporters and politicians for the clinic’s ribbon-cutting ceremony, which coincided with the storm’s anniversary.
“We’re here to celebrate an anniversary, and though that might be hard for some, I choose to emphasize the word ‘celebrate,’ ” Bullock told about 100 people gathered at Warren Easton Charter High School. “Sometimes tragedies bring out the very best in people, and it’s one of the reasons why we stand in this school of excellence today.”
In addition to a contribution from Bullock, the $700,000 clinic received grants from The Kellogg Foundation and The San Francisco 49ers Foundation. It’s set to open in the fall and will provide services ranging from flu shots to emergency care.
Bullock previously donated money to Easton, the city’s oldest public high school, for renovations, scholarships and supplies, including new band uniforms.
“She’s helped shine a light on us and our efforts,” said Alexina Medley, Easton’s principal. “Without her, we would not have returned as soon as we did. She’s come to our rescue several times and, in a pinch, she’s definitely helped us out.”
And what he can still do. Go read it all. Ian Walsh:
The banks have been pretty ungrateful for the massive bailout they received. They have unilaterally increased credit card rates to gouge customers, have been gaming the market (so much so that one quarter many banks didn’t lose money on their trading operations even one day of the quarter), have fought against financial reform, and have generally acted against the interests of the majority of Americans. One might say “well, now that they’re bailed out, there is nothing we can do about it.”
The Fed still holds over $2 trillion in toxic waste from the banks. The banks still hold trillions of dollars of toxic waste. If sold on the open market this stuff would sell for, oh, about 5 cents on the dollar. If forced to mark the assets they are keeping on their books at inflated prices to their actual market value, I doubt there is a single major bank in the country which wouldn’t go bankrupt. Including Goldman Sachs.
So here’s what you do. As the Federal Reserve you sell $100 billion of the toxic waste on the open market. Set an actual price for it. Then you make the banks mark their assets to market value. They go bankrupt. You nationalize them. (Why no?–They are actually bankrupt after all, and they haven’t increased lending like they were supposed to; in fact, they have decreased it.) You make the stockholders take their losses and the bondholders too, then you reinflate the banks. (If the Fed can print trillions to keep zombie banks “alive” it can print money to reinflate nationalized banks.) The banks lend under FDIC and Fed direction, at the interest rates the Fed directs. The FDIC and Fed eventually break the banks up into a reasonable size. And while they’re at it, they get rid of the entire executive class which caused the financial crisis, and have the DOJ go over all the internal memos and start charging everyone who committed fraud. (Hint: that’s virtually every executive at a major bank.) Again, this is completely up to Obama–the DOJ answers to him.
Think Obama can’t do this without Bernanke? Wrong. Obama can fire any Fed Governor for cause and replace them during a Congressional recess with no oversight.* (”Cause” is never defined, but Obama can note that the Fed’s mandate includes maximum employment and not stopping the financial crisis in the first place is certainly plausible as cause as well.)
Obama had the power. Obama had the money. Obama has the power–and the money.
The idea that Obama, or any President, is a powerless shrinking violet, helpless in the face of Congress is just an excuse. Presidents have immense amounts of power: the question is whether or not they use that power, and if they do, what they use it for.
Obama has a huge slush fund with hundreds of billions of dollars and all the executive authority he needs to turn things around.
If Obama is not using that money and authority, the bottom line is it’s because he doesn’t want to.
Putting aside the question of what Obama could have accomplished already, if he wants to help everyday Americans, turn around Democratic approval ratings in time for the midterm elections, and leave behind him a legacy of achievemant, he can still do it. If he wants to.