Thursday, February 5, 2009

Republicans are the New American Taliban, Paulson Lies

Paul Krugman

Today's consensus seems to be that the Republican Party at the Congressional level has not learned how to play with others. These old dogs may not be able to learn any new tricks since they keep whining about tax cuts and how they alone will save our economy. Two weeks ago the tax cuts they had asked for were put in the stimulus bill, and none of them voted for it. So, is it political posturing for dramatic effect, or are these Congressmen really as dense as they appear to be? The Washington Monthly comments: "Looking back over the current recession, the AP noted, "All told, the economy has lost a staggering 3.6 million jobs since the recession began in December 2007. About half of this decline occurred in the past three months."

And the New York Times added, "Economists see no hint that the bottom has been reached."

Given all of this, one might think lawmakers on the Hill would be anxious to support an ambitious stimulus package, erring on the side of too much spending. That would only be true, however, if our political process made sense." 

Last month over 598,000 people were laid off from their jobs and this month the entire staff of the Republican National Committee will be gone, as the new Chairman Michael Steele has decided to start over from scratch.

When I read the blogs, both the left and right sides are calling each other Nazis and much worse, while the whole world is spiraling downwards. Further, some congressional Republicans see themselves as Quixotic romantic figures charging the windmill. They have compared themselves as freedom fighters against socialistic policies, and now as an insurgency like the Taliban. Better keep a watch on these Southern boys, mixing moonshine and prescription drugs makes you talk crazy...

Again, from the Washington Monthly"From time to time in recent years, liberals have identified the "Taliban wing" of the Republican Party -- those conservatives who reject church-state separation, taking marching orders from James Dobson, and wonder why the government doesn't do more to promote and endorse their vision of Christianity.

The phrase is generally considered offensive by most Republicans, and it's easy to understand why. Indeed, no U.S. political contingent wants to be compared to the Taliban.

It came as something of a surprise, then, to see a leading House Republican make the comparison unprompted.

Frustrated by a lack of bipartisan outreach from House Democratic leaders, Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said House Republicans -- who voted unanimously last week against the economic plan pushed by President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- will pitch a "positive, loyal opposition" to the proposal. The group, he added, should also "understand insurgency" in implementing efforts to offer alternatives.

"Insurgency, we understand perhaps a little bit more because of the Taliban," Sessions said during a meeting yesterday with Hotline editors. "And that is that they went about systematically understanding how to disrupt and change a person's entire processes. And these Taliban -- I'm not trying to say the Republican Party is the Taliban. No, that's not what we're saying. I'm saying an example of how you go about [sic] is to change a person from their messaging to their operations to their frontline message. And we need to understand that insurgency may be required when the other side, the House leadership, does not follow the same commands, which we entered the game with."

He added that if Democrats don't give the minority party more "options or opportunities," Republicans "will then become an insurgency."

I see. So, a couple of weeks ago, Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina compared the Republican Party to "freedom fighters" fighting against a "slide toward socialism." This week, a House GOP lawmaker and chairman of the NRCC compared the Republican Party to an insurgency.

We've gone from the Contra wing of the Republican Party to the Taliban wing of the Republican Party."

Well, no wonder we can't find Osama bin Laden, the Republicans have been hiding him! I really don't want to bash these guys, but they keep proving over and over again that they are not thinking things through nor coming up with any fresh, new ideas that are helpful, just responding and proclaiming they are against whatever Obama proposes. Put a cap on CEO salaries with money taken from the public trough? We are against it! 

Some good news came today that Wall Street had a slight rally. The Financial Times reported:
" Bank stocks, meanwhile, rallied on Thursday as bankers expressed fresh confidence that the US authorities will find ways to circumvent mark-to-market rules as part of the new financial rescue package."

Despite the fact that:"Elizabeth Warren, an independent monitor appointed by Congress to scrutinise the bank recapitalisation programme, said on Thursday that the Bush administration overpaid by $78bn when it injected more than $250bn into bank preferred shares starting last year – a subsidy element of about 30 cents in the dollar."

According to Elizabeth Warren, Chair of the TARP Congressional Oversight Panel, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson misled their investigation.

Here is part Warren's interview with CBS "Early Show" anchor Julie Chen this morning:

Prof. WARREN: Well, they're trying to push money into banks and the question the oversight panel was asking is, `are you getting an equivalent amount back?' And so that's what this was about. Now there could be lots of policy reasons that Treasury might decide that it wanted this money to be in the banks. But our question is the one we put to Secretary Paulson, and that is, `are you putting it in and getting back assets that are worth equivalent value?' He told us yes; our independent investigation said no
CHEN: So are you saying he was lying?

Prof. WARREN: Well, I'm telling you he told us yes and our independent investigation said no.

Ms Warren also said that the Fed did not have a plan when it instituted the bailout, so it looks like Paulson just gave it away to his friends...

Well, all of the jokes today are from Jay Leno:

"I think Barack Obama is a genius. I think this is part of the plan. Do you ever notice when Barack Obama nominates someone, the first thing they do is pay their taxes? He's found a way to pay off the deficit. Nominate every single person in the country one at a time, until they pay off the deficit." --Jay Leno

"As you know, Tom Daschle withdrew his name to be in Obama's cabinet, due to IRS problems. Yeah, he said, 'I will not be a distraction.' See, distraction is Washington talk for, 'Uh-oh, there's a lot more crap you don't know about yet.'" --Jay Leno

"Wasn't it just a couple months ago, these people were making fun of Joe the Plumber for not paying his taxes?" --Jay Leno

"Daschle says that his problems with the IRS were unintentional. Well, of course they were unintentional. He never intended to get caught." --Jay Leno

"I guess the Democrats think IRS means, 'I'm really sorry.'" --Jay Leno

"And you know that woman here in California who just had the eight kids and has six more at home?' Well, today, Tom Daschle proposed to her. He's not in love, he just needs the deductions. 'Please marry me, please!'" --Jay Leno

"The White House issued a statement today saying that the reason their nominees are having such trouble is that the new White House has set the bar very high. See, that shows you what's wrong with politics in this country. That's what the government considers setting the bar high, having to pay taxes like everybody else in America." --Jay Leno

"And today, President Obama announced a salary cap of $500,000 for executives at banks and companies that have received taxpayer bailout money. And you know — it is good. But I'll tell you something, you can tell a lot of these CEOs don't get it. They said, 'Well, that's $500,000 a month, right?'" --Jay Leno

"And Citigroup, who received a huge bailout from the government, owns the naming rights to the New York Mets' new stadium. It is currently called Citi Field, but because of Barack Obama's crackdown on the Federal bailout money, Citigroup will legally have to change the name of the stadium to Money Grubbing Bastards Field." --Jay Leno

"Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi recently said that every month that we do not have an economic recovery package, '500 million Americans lose their jobs.' I think the Botox is starting to seep into her brain." --Jay Leno

"And the US Postal Service says they may cut postal service from six days to five days a week. They say they're losing money because people aren't using the postal service as much as they used to. If you'd like to complain, you can e-mail the complaint to" --Jay Leno

The new US energy secretary predicts agriculture in California will disappear in this century because of global warming. He said people in California will no longer grow crops, except those who are growing them in their basements, attics, and garages." --Jay Leno

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