the mindful mission
Most Commented Posts
Rumors are flying that a group of "centrists" are working together to gut the current stimulus bill in the Senate.
Some reports are saying upwards of $200 billion may be cut from it. [UPDATE: It now looks like it may be $80 billion, which is still WAY too much to cut]
That is absurd.
I actually blame Barack Obama for not pushing harder, and not using his political capital to force this through. There is significant public support for both Barack Obama and a large stimulus package. But President Obama has not been willing to use this large public support to force the Republicans' hands. He is letting conservatives drive the conversation, often very dishonestly, which is in turn allowing moderate Dems to move to the right.
The nation, and probably more importantly, the states, need this money. And need it now. And it probably STILL will not be enough.
Yet people want it cut.
Senate passed SCHIP
Posted by Dave on 01/30/09 at 09:08:16 am
More excellent news from the US Congress - Senate passes bill to expand child health coverage:
Stimulus passes in the House
Step one of passing the Economic Recovery bill is done. Now it must get done in the Senate.
Of course, zero Republicans voted for the bill. Let me repeat that. ZERO. Not one.
Good thing President Obama felt the need to pander to the Republicans on it, eh? Maybe now he will realize that he has the political capital, and even more, a mandate, for real progressive change.
It is quite clear, as Chris Bowers points out in the link above, that the Republicans have one goal - opposition - regardless of the situation. And good for them. It creates a clear contrast between parties, and it will hopefully will allow the Democrats in Congress, and more specifically the progressives, to understand that they have the ability to move legislation without conservative support.
No pandering to conservatives necessary.
Bailout against EFCA?
Good thing we are spending billions so that banks can actively lobby and actively mobilize against pro-union legislation.
Don't get me wrong - I believe that the TARP money was absolutely necessary. But the oversight has been downright awful.
The Employee Free Choice Act is a very important piece of legislation that will make it much easier for thousands, if not millions, or workers around the country to organize and form unions. Corporations are right to fear this legislation, as it will be a very large step in giving working people a voice in the workplace.
But while corporations(and banks) are right to fear this legislation, the government surely should not be paying for campaigns against the legislation.
Free Market Flaws!?!?!?!?
Posted by Dave on 10/23/08 at 11:41:07 am
Posted by Dave on 10/13/08 at 02:24:32 pm
After last week's devastating market crash, combined with a bad preceding few weeks, the market had dropped nearly 30% over the last month.
It looks like people are starting to gain confidence again, with the Dow up 660 points (7.83%), the Nasdaq up 139.58 (8.46%), and the S&P 500 up 73.61 (8.19%).
That is definitely good news.
UPDATE: The closing numbers are even better:
CRA, ACORN, and the Economic Crisis
Posted by Dave on 10/13/08 at 10:44:53 am
The Right has recently created a new bogeyman. And this is a big one - it caused the current economic crisis!!! Supposedly.
The new bogeyman is the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The Community Reinvestment Act is:
Because of this act, credit was opened up to a whole new market - lower and moderate-income, and often minority, communities. Many on the Right have pointed directly back to the CRA as a what caused the current crisis. Their argument is as follows - (irresponsible) poor people of color got loans that they could never afford, and in turn defaulted on their debt, which left the banks (or whomever bought the debt) empty handed. People default on debt all the time, but when it became thousands of people default on debt at the same time, the damn burst, lenders began to fail, and the stock market crashed.
Of course, the Right is right that more poor people were able to get loans through the CRA. But they are very, very wrong that this was the reason for the current recession that the United States, and the World, finds itself in. Renowned economist Nouriel Roubini gives the cause of the crisis as follows:
It is clear that the current situation has been caused by many things, but one of those things was not the CRA.
Of course, ACORN has been thrown into the mess as another scapegoat, being blamed by some as the "bogeyman" that caused the "bogeyman." ACORN has worked for years attempting to get banks to give loans to low- and middle-income communities, and especially to neighborhoods that are predominantly made up of people of color. That part is true, and the Right has attacked them for it. I mean, how dare they think that people of color should have the same access to loans as white people? But again, giving loans to low- and moderate-income individuals or families, or pressuring banks to be willing to give loans to those in predominantly minority communities, did not cause this crisis.
Both Media Matters and the American Prospect have also taken this issue on and debunked many of the myths that are floating around about how the CRA and poor people caused the crisis, and addressed the ACORN connection. Robert Gordon, at the American Prospect, summarizes it like this:
This crisis was not caused by poor people. People of color did not cause it. And it was not caused by ACORN.
It was caused by greed. It was caused by the demand for profit.
Time to Panic?
Posted by Dave on 10/09/08 at 04:19:24 pm
The Dow Jones dropped nearly 700 points today. That is more than a 7% drop, and it moves the Dow below 9000 points for the first time since May, 2003.
So when do we start panicking and placing money under out mattresses?
Kimmel on Palin
Which John McCain?
From John McCain, in the same speech:
What a hypocrite. In the same speech he talks about how this isn't the time to "fix the blame" right after "fixing" blame.
John McCain has been all over the place today. First, he claimed success for the successful bailout plan. Then the bailout plan failed. And he blamed Barack Obama and the Democrats, even though it was primarily the House Republicans who refused to pass the bill.
Don't get me wrong - this bailout plan is ugly. And it sure isn't what I would do. But it is better than many options, and it sure is not Barack Obama's fault that it did not pass. And it also sure was not John McCain's "success" that it came so close.
John McCain is doing everything he can to try and claim credit for the (lack of?) success of the bailout plan while blaming Barack Obama for its failure.
Unfortunately for John McCain, his attempt simply do not align with reality.
And I am also starting to get really confused about which John McCain will show up in a speech or interview, or even for the next sentence.
WaMu's CEO: Bagging $13.65 million in 18 days?
Posted by Dave on 09/27/08 at 09:37:30 pm
Wow... I am in the wrong industry.
And people wonder why some of us say that CEO pay is out of control?
Bono Knows Billions
Posted by Dave on 09/26/08 at 08:46:15 am
Transfer of Wealth
Posted by Dave on 09/22/08 at 09:05:39 am
From Bernie Sanders, on the Wall-Street bailouts:
Posted by Dave on 09/19/08 at 09:29:02 am
From a comment at AmericaBlog:
Socialized Financial Industries and Priorities
Posted by Dave on 09/17/08 at 11:11:17 am
One of the attacks that the Right loves to use against Barack Obama is that he is a socialist, or at least that he has socialist policies.
Yet, interestingly, you hear little commentary about the socialist policies of nationalizing the financial industries. While the federal government is not completely taking over the financial industry, they are spending billions and billions of dollars in order to subsidize, and in some cases take over, the industry.
The conservatives in this country have no problem with subsidies and welfare payments, as long as those subsidies and payments go to large companies rather than poor people.
Do people realize that the CEOs of Fannie and Freddie got several million dollar severance packages? The CEOs led the two largest mortgage companies into failure, yet were rewarded, by the federal government, a combined 23 million dollars (source).
Why is that conservatives are silent on this? Why is that that they will be the first to talk about the poor being dependent on the government while the rich take millions from the same government for blatantly failing?
And why is that Barack Obama gets branded a socialist for wanting a more equitable tax system and a way for all to be able to access health care, yet the Republican Party continues to hand out money to the rich and move torwards nationalizing the financial industry?
Why is that this country's priorities are so very wrong?
Who do you put in charge?
From Josh Marshall:
Sarah Palin, Fannie, and Freddie
In case you are confused, let me explain. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are two lenders that are privately held. They are NOT funded by tax payers. They are being taken over by the Federal government. Ironically, they will know now BECOME tax payer funded.
How is it that someone running for Vice President for a major political party does not have a clue about the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac situation, a major economic issue that this is country is facing??
Fannie and Freddie takeover
Posted by Dave on 09/07/08 at 04:49:40 pm
I admit that I know nothing, and can add nothing, to the discussions about what the federal takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will mean.
But others know a lot more than I do, and CAN add to the conversation. You should take a look at these thoughts:
John McCain and being rich
In the Saddleback Civil Forum tonight, John McCain defined being "rich" as making five million dollars.
Yup... you heard that.
FIVE MILLION DOLLARS!!
I guess we should expect that from a guy who owns eight different houses and wears $500 shoes.
But seriously... you are not rich until you make five million bucks? Seriously?
Some more random musings...
I only watched some of the forum. But for what it is worth, I think that McCain had a better night overall. But if there is ANY doubt about how conservative John McCain is, tonight's forum should have ended any of that doubt.
And why does John McCain have to bring up the fact that he is a POW every opportunity he gets? He even talks about it when he was asked about what Jesus means to his life.
McCain was definitely on message tonight. He was full of talking points, and new exactly how to excite the Evangelical voters.
Obama didn't. Obama wanted to engage with the questions. Obama wanted to have a discussion rather than try to insert talking points into each answer. I give him credit for that.
But McCain's talking points were effective.
Minimum Wage Hike
Today is a good day for many working people around the country as the minimum wage hike kicks in:
From Working Life:
And OurFuture points out that, contrary to many conservative theories, there are numerous studies that show that minimum wage increases are not harmful to the economy:
But while this is good news, it is far from enough. In a time where the rich are continually getting a larger and larger share of the pie, $6.55 per hour is hardly enough to live on, and even further from enough to have any semblance of an equitable society.
Think about it... as food prices continue to soar, gas prices are outrageous, housing is becoming simply unaffordable, even at higher levels of income, the vast majority of the people in this country are struggling every day to get by. They are worrying where their food is going to come from tomorrow. They are being forced to make impossible decisions such as whether to buy their necessary medication or to buy food. They are struggling to even afford the gas that is requisite for them to even get to the job that they make just enough money to pay for more gas. Child care has become unaffordable for the average working American. Energy prices are soaring, making it nearly impossible to keep your house warm, keep your oven on, or even keep lights on. Without health insurance they put off necessary medical procedures, and without being able to afford any medicine, the problems are just exacerbated. And then they become too sick to work, but they cannot afford ways to get healthy and their financial situation continues to spiral down.
We have a problem in this country. We have millions and millions of workers who have struggle with these nearly impossible situations every single day while the top 1% revel in the comfort of their wealth.
A minimum wage increase is nice. And it is needed. And it will help many people.
But we need more. And we need it soon.
Its the Economy, Stupid
If you want to clearly understand the differences in tax policy between Barack Obama and John McCain, just read this.
One wants to increase taxes on the rich, and cut taxes for everyone else. If you make under $111,646 you will pay less taxes under Obama than McCain And everyone making under $603,403, which is 99% of income earners, will see a tax cut from Obama. The other 1% will see raises under Obama. Under McCain the really rich folks will see the largest tax cuts of any group.
So as Mike Lux says, this is:
Posted by Dave on 04/07/08 at 08:43:02 am
Categories: Economy, Campaign 2008, McCain - More of the Same
I know... it is Monday, but these numbers came out on Friday!
Clinton and NAFTA
Hillary Clinton has been trying really, really hard to pretend that she had nothing to do with the passage of NAFTA during her husband's administration. Even worse, she is pretending that she has always been opposed to it.
Of course... historical facts say otherwise:
And here is another one:
And another one:
And another one:
And another one:
I hope that Barack Obama has every one of these quotes ready in the debate tomorrow.
Fed Slashes Interest Rates
Posted by Dave on 01/22/08 at 08:54:32 am
Today will be very, very interesting on Wall Street.
Actually, it already has been.
So... does George Bush and the rest of the Republicans still think that the economy is doing well?
:: Next Page >>
the mindful mission
criminal justice/death penalty