Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for February 17th, 2009

In case Republicans lie about what is in the stimulus bill…

Posted by Charles II on February 17, 2009

like, say here, click here for a link to the actual legislation (for the specific example of Republican liars, go to page 751 of the conference bill, where you will note that 330 million is allocated to the Department of Energy for “Science.”)

Gawd these people annoy me.

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Posted in liars, Republicans acting badly | 3 Comments »

Calling Their Bluff

Posted by MEC on February 17, 2009

Michigan state senator Gretchen Whitmer is sponsoring a resolution that would save Michigan taxpayers at least $3 million.

I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that not very many Michigan Republicans will co-sponsor it.

YouTube source page

(H/T LiberalLucy in Michigan Liberal)

Posted in Democrats with spines | 2 Comments »

Obama: home run, bases loaded

Posted by Charles II on February 17, 2009

I was only able to watch part of his speech at the signing of the stimulus bill, but it was clear this is a home run. Three good speakers, Gov. Ritter, VP Biden, and the head of a solar panel installer, Namaste, preceded him (the loudest applause, oddly, went to Denver’s Mayor Hicklooper). But as Obama laid down just what has been accomplished with the stimulus bill, it was very clear. This is exactly what America wanted, even if it is too small and coming late in the day.

Whatever the shortcomings of the legislation, we have a government again.

We have a government again.

Posted in Barack Obama | 2 Comments »

A Hint of Change in U.S. Diplomacy

Posted by MEC on February 17, 2009

US calls Venezuelan referendum democratic

The Obama administration says the referendum that cleared the way for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to run for re-election was democratic.

[…]

Asked whether that was a result the United States welcomes, [State Dept. spokesman Gordon] Duguid said the issue “was a matter for the Venezuelan people.”

This is a refreshing contrast with the Bush Administration’s persistent demonization of Hugo Chavez and meddling in Venezuela’s internal affairs.

Posted in Obama Administration, Venezuela | 3 Comments »

Another major fraud ($8B)

Posted by Charles II on February 17, 2009

Via Calculated Risk, we learn that the SEC has charged Robert Allen Stanford and his companies Stanford International Bank (SIB), Stanford Group Company (SGC), Stanford Capital Management with fraud amounting to $8B:

The SEC’s complaint, filed in federal court in Dallas, alleges that acting through a network of SGC financial advisers, SIB has sold approximately $8 billion of so-called “certificates of deposit” to investors by promising improbable and unsubstantiated high interest rates. These rates were supposedly earned through SIB’s unique investment strategy, which purportedly allowed the bank to achieve double-digit returns on its investments for the past 15 years.

It has to be said and said again: there is a tradeoff between high returns and low risk. The only way to systematically get high returns with low risk is through inside information. That generally involves breaking the law, though certain individuals like Warren Buffett manage to skirt the law by mingling business activity with investment. If you’re not as rich as Warren Buffett, best to stay with investments that don’t promise the moon.

Posted in corruption, financial crisis, frauds | Comments Off on Another major fraud ($8B)

Tuesday Morning News Roundup

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 17, 2009

cat-herding.jpg

Chris Steller of the Minnesota Independent notices that the St. Paul Pioneer Press, which has backed honoring the final results of the recount, has now — hard on the heels of a court decision that has dealt a mortal blow to Norm Coleman’s hopes of retaking his old Senate seat — suddenly decided that the recount was a wash and that there needs to be a do-over instead. Could this have anything to do with the PiPress’ endorsing Coleman during the campaign last year, Steller wonders?

— Ho hum, Donald Trump’s filing for bankruptcy again. This is the third time for his entertainment company.

There was an NPR program a few years ago that contrasted Trump with Richard Branson, back when they both had reality-TV programs on the air. Trump’s “The Apprentice” was a ratings hit, yet nobody watched Branson’s “The Rebel Billionaire” — people much preferred watching a piss-poor manager reward incompetent backstabbing suckups to seeing a genuine success story challenging other people to get outside their comfort zones. And really, as go TV audiences, so go the alleged “smartest guys in the room”. They all take after the Trump model and not the Branson model, even though Branson is by far the better businessman and manager of the two.

— Surprise, surprise: A handful of racists at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado got President Obama’s picture removed from the base’s commissary. Remember that Colorado Springs is also home to the US Air Force Academy, and to James Dobson’s ministry, which also with other nearby conservative Christian groups has infiltrated the Academy to such an extent that Jewish cadets have a very tough time there.

Posted in 111th Congress, 2008, Al Franken, anti-Semitism, media, Minnesota, Norm Coleman, President Obama, Professional Christians, racism, Republicans, Republicans acting badly | 3 Comments »

 
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