Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for March 6th, 2008

The man behind the curtain

Posted by Charles II on March 6, 2008

CMike brought to attention a fascinating piece blogged at The Economist. Briefly, President Nixon ordered the Fed Chairman to goose the economy to knock down unemployment and help win the 1972 election. He got what he wanted and inflation broke out, not to be quenched until the wrenching Reagan recession drove unemployment to levels not seen since the 1930s.

By a curious coincidence, the current Fed Chairman is also dropping interest rates even though this action is clearly inflationary.

Posted in economy, Nixon | 2 Comments »

Don Siegelman writes

Posted by Charles II on March 6, 2008

I received a very nice note from Don Siegelman. His address is here and his website is here.

Posted in Don Siegelman, Good Things | 3 Comments »

It hardly seems fair….

Posted by Charles II on March 6, 2008

Philip Shenon, NYT (via t/o):

Hundreds of thousands of dollars are missing and presumed stolen from the chief fund-raising arm of House Republicans, according to party officials who described the findings of emergency internal audits.

The financial records of the group, the National Republican Congressional Committee, may also have been falsified for several years, Republican officials said. The campaign committees of several Republican lawmakers may also have been victims of a scam that is now under criminal investigation by the F.B.I….

But until now the committee has not acknowledged that any money was missing from its bank accounts or that the financial irregularities might extend beyond the national committee to the campaign funds of individual Republican lawmakers who also worked with [NRCC Treasurer] Mr. Ward, a longtime party operative.

It hardly seems fair. He only stole modest sums compared to what they were stealing from us.

Posted in BushCo malfeasance, Busheviks, corruption, rats deserting Bush's ship, Republicans acting badly | 2 Comments »

Curiouser and Curiouser

Posted by MEC on March 6, 2008


The accusations that Senator Obama was criticizing NAFTA to Ohioans but assuring the Canadian government that he wouldn’t change it began with an aide to Canadian prime minister Stephen “Bush’s Mini-Me” Harper telling reporters that someone from Hillary Clinton‘s campaign had “called us and told us not to worry” … to take her anti-NAFTA statements with a grain of salt.

How did a report of doubletalk from Hillary Clinton’s campaign become a report of doubletalk from Barack Obama’s campaign? A report that Hillary Clinton parlayed into attacks on Obama just in time for the Ohio and Texas primaries?

What is behind this story?

[edited for clarification] I don’t believe that the Hillary Clinton campaign instigated this Obama story. They credulously jumped on it and ignored the denials, but they didn’t collude to put the story out there.

I find it curious that a Canadian news agency began by looking into an allegation about Hillary Clinton, and ended up with a report about Barack Obama, not mentioning Clinton at all.

I find it even more curious that Stephen Harper, who is as paranoid about leaks as George W. Bush, is refusing demands for an RCMP investigation into this leak.

And I am even more reluctant to believe the veracity of a document that was leaked from the administration of one of George W. Bush’s best friends and that damages the most liberal of the U.S. presidential candidates.

Posted in 2008, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton | 5 Comments »

For the “pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered…or get government bailouts” file

Posted by Charles II on March 6, 2008

Bloomberg’s Edward Evans and Joseph Galante (indirectly via Calculated Risk):

Carlyle Group’s publicly traded mortgage bond fund failed to meet margin calls, prompting its creditors to seek immediate repayment of loans linked to even the highest-rated bonds….

The Carlyle fund raised $300 million in July [for a total investment of $672M] and used loans to buy about $22 billion of AAA rated mortgage debt issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, securities that Carlyle says have the “implied guarantee” of the U.S. government. 

As CR notes, this represents enormous, 32-fold leverage. beyond the wildest speculative levels allowed in 1929. Continuing from Bloomberg:

Carlyle said last month its agency mortgage securities “have the implied guarantee of the U.S. government and are expected to pay at par at maturity.” The U.S. Treasury today denied speculation that the government will guarantee mortgage- backed bonds issued by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, which are the two largest sources of American home financing.

That’s the big question. Is the taxpayer going to bail out Carlyle Capital for making reckless investments?

Carlyle Capital was down 40% when Evans and Galante wrote their article. It’s now down 80%?

Posted in Busheviks, capitalism as cancer, greed | 4 Comments »

Beating On The Hippies

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 6, 2008

TerraBlog and Grist note that the roots of climate-change denial, as well as its strongest exponents, have almost nothing to do with science and everything to do with the culture wars:

But the more I’ve listened to these speakers, the more I’ve realized that for most of them, it’s not about the science. Panels don’t go five minutes without attacking Al Gore or comparing climate activists to socialists who want to destroy capitalism. Deniers are part of a political culture that frames the world in terms of left and right, so they’ve absorbed global warming into that broader paradigm of partisan politics.


Fortunately, while muddying the waters may play well on Rush Limbaugh, it’s falling flat in the halls of Congress. Senators like John Warner, Norm Coleman, and Elizabeth Dole recognize that climate action is not a partisan issue. They’re joining a bipartisan coalition supporting the Climate Security Act, a bill that would establish a cap-and-trade system to cut our carbon emissions. It’s a strong bill that the National Wildlife Federation is fighting to strengthen and pass. And while President Bush has stonewalled on climate action, every one of the leading presidential contenders has expressed support for mandatory cuts in carbon emissions.

So maybe the deniers should keep playing to Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. Pretty soon, those may be the only allies they’ll have left.

Posted in climate change, distractions, eedjits, Flying Monkey Right, Fox Noise | 5 Comments »

A Chilling Call To St. Paul

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 6, 2008

Tim Pawlenty’s funding cons, done on behalf of his friends at the (Rich) Taxpayers’ League, have left Minnesota schools starved.

Posted in 'starving the beast', (Rich) Taxpayers League, education, infrastructure, Minnesota, taxes, Tim Pawlenty | 1 Comment »

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