Sunday, December 14, 2008

Headlines - Sunday

Lennon: Happy Xmas (War is Over): 
So why didn't the Plantation Caucus make Cerberus put cash into Chrysler?

Schuster just made a good point on Countdown - why didn't the Plantation Caucus (that's what I'm calling them now, after Maddow) demand Cerberus Capital put money into GMAC/Chrysler in exchange for a loan

Although Cerberus owns 80% of now troubled Chrysler Corporation, it has refused to inject cash into Chrysler, as Sen. Bob Corker pointed out at a hearing about the economic needs of the American automobile industry on December 4, 2008. In response to questioning at a hearing before the House committee on December 5, 2008 by Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, Chrysler President and CEO Robert Nardelli said that Cerberus' other fiduciary obligations to its other investors and investments prohibited it from injecting capital.

So the Plantation Caucus accepts that Cerberus (a huge private equity firm that made a bad investment) has "other fiduciary obligations," but assemblyline workers who have to pay their bills in tough economic times do not?


Newt is the New Black

Too funny. The former Speaker offers to be a liaison to the African-American community for the Republican who knocked off Rep. Bill Jefferson (D-LA).


A self-proclaimed prophet in Utah with a bunch of crackpot followers predicts nuclear explosions over Christmas that will prevent Obama from becoming President:,0,2231803.story


Oh good. A hamburger fatty melt is a burger with two grilled cheese sandwiches as the bun.



Invictus posted this back in January, with only one item unchecked at the time.

Mission Accomplished.


Bush EPA continues its fight on behalf of corporations right to pollute

The WaPo's Jeff Smith has been on EPA's neck all week. Today he notes that in the standard Rove-established Friday Dump is the news that the EPA just issued more exemptions for major polluters.

The Environmental Protection Agency issued a new regulation yesterday exempting an estimated 118,500 tons of hazardous waste annually from strict federal incineration controls, and it separately exempted factory farms from a requirement to report hazardous air pollution to the federal government.

The two rules are among dozens of regulations being issued during the final weeks of the Bush administration after lengthy internal deliberations and public controversy.

The hazardous waste exemption was proposed in June 2007 and approved by the White House three weeks after the presidential election. It allows companies that create hazardous chemical wastes in industrial processes to burn them as fuel in their own incinerators, instead of paying highly regulated incineration firms to destroy them.

The only good thing about this is that at the end of a bad era, the gloves are off and truth is flowing from the lips of liars because they can't be bothered to dodge any more. Here's an EPA Administrator explaining why your health is just "a commodity" like any other.

Susan Bodine, EPA's assistant administrator for solid waste and emergency response, said in a prepared statement that "this action recognizes that [such wastes] . . . should be managed as a commodity valued for its energy content." She said the rule eliminates unnecessary regulation and promotes "energy recovery" without sacrificing human health or the environment.

In other words, no matter how dangerous a chemical is, if money can be made by burning it, that's more important than if the toxic smoke kills a few folks here and there. Thanks, Sue, for laying the Bush Admin's priorities out for us. Not that we didn't know what they were.


I think it bears repeating that George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, John Yoo, and others committed war crimes by ordering torture.

Crimes Without Consequence:


You're either with us or against us:


At least eight Republican senators don't like Obama's pick for AG and want to delay the start of the hearings until Jan. 26, or after inauguration week, so their staffs can investigate some controversies. Too bad they weren't so interested in controversies like say the firing of US Attorneys, the ordering of torture, and illegal wiretaps:,0,340443.story


Here's an exchange between Jay Garner and Donald Rumsfeld on the eve of the Iraq invasion when Garner showed him several different rebuilding plans: 

"What do you think that'll cost?" Mr. Rumsfeld asked of the more expansive plan.

"I think it's going to cost billions of dollars," Mr. Garner said.

"My friend," Mr. Rumsfeld replied, "if you think we're going to spend a billion dollars of our money over there, you are sadly mistaken."


An unpublished 513-page federal history of the American-led reconstruction of Iraq depicts an effort crippled before the invasion by Pentagon planners who were hostile to the idea of rebuilding a foreign country, and then molded into a $100 billion failure by bureaucratic turf wars, spiraling violence and ignorance of the basic elements of Iraqi society and infrastructure.

The bitterest message" of the report, the Times notes, is that, for all the billions spent on Iraq reconstruction, "the rebuilding effort never did much more than restore what was destroyed during the invasion and the convulsive looting that followed."



Jim Bunning was the toast of Detroit when he threw a no-hitter for the Tigers in 1958.

Now, after opposing a federal bailout for the auto industry, the Republican senator from Kentucky can't even get a gig signing autographs at a suburban sports-card show.

Bunning was to appear Sunday at the Gibraltar Trade Center in Taylor. Fans would have paid $35 for Bunning to sign a baseball and $55 to sign a bat.

But Bunning was kicked off the schedule after he helped derail an auto-industry loan package in the Senate Thursday night.


Yesterday, Boy Genius gave a commencement address at Texas A&M. They gave him academic robes and everything.

He had some advice for the graduates: "There will be times when people tell you a different way is more accepted or popular. Remember that popularity is as fleeting as the Texas wind..." Especially if you're an incompetent moron. Of course the meteorological metaphor suggests that his own plummeting popularity has nothing to do with any intrinsic qualities of his own. "...Character and conscience are as sturdy as the oaks on this campus. If you go home at night, look in the mirror and be satisfied that you have done what is right, you will pass the only test that matters." Unless your judgment about what is "right" is invariably spectacularly wrong. That's the thing about Bush: even after everything he's done has turned to shit, he does indeed look in the mirror and is satisfied that he has done what is right. After all this time, we all know Bush too well to expect any acknowledgment from him that there are one or two things he might have gotten not quite right; what is galling is that for the rest of his days he will feel nothing but smug satisfaction in a job well done.


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