"A third of Americans say they are born again," - Jon Meacham
"Rush and his boys are doing what Gene Debs and his comrades never really could. In tandem with Wall Street, they are building socialism in America." - Harold Meyerson
"We are all rightwing extremists now. Welcome to the club." - Michelle Malkin
Today is April 15th. I hope to take some pictures of my local tea-bag party and post them later. The Ron Paul crowd says that they were the ones who first came up with the idea, and others have co-opted it. Logically, the reasons given for the protest don't make sense, so I don't think that this is being done for any real purpose, maybe to bolster up and have people join the local Republican party again. Mostly, it's going to be a cathartic experience for many of those who now feel displaced, and no longer have a voice in policy making. And it will be like a big, outdoor Libertarian convention, with odd and crackpot individuals running around. I'm hoping for some good old, sixties style confrontations, because I want to be entertained... Who knows, maybe it will change my perspective...
Appearing on MSNBC's Morning Joe, Warren acknowledged a double standard in how the White House has approached the banking and auto industries, and said that the president would do well to show the former the tough love he's offered the latter.
"I fear right now that we are much closer to the Japan end of the scale," she said, when asked whether the economic recovery resembled the accountability seen in Sweden's efforts or the lack thereof in Japan's. "And that's particularly with the banks. I'm not the first person to observe that the banks and auto companies are being treated differently from each other in this sense. We have clearly moved with the auto companies towards at least more accountability and less with the financial institutions, for the people running the financial institutions.
"Again, I'm not going to stand here and say I think that they should be fired, that is not the position of... the oversight panel," she added. "But you have got to have these options on the table. if you take the option of getting rid of management off the table, then you not only change the relationship between the government and the financial institution that is getting taxpayer money, you have change the relationship with a taxpayer. Because the taxpayer says, 'let me get this straight. In my little business, if it goes down, I lose my job.'"
Hitting the same notes of caution earlier in the program, Warren cheered the administration for finally agreeing to release information on the stress tests that they are applying to beleaguered banks. But she wasn't entirely placated. Noting that any bank -- however troubled its solvency situation may be -- could pass a stress test that was easy enough, she made the case for the Treasury department to release data on the test itself.
"I want to look at the stress test itself. I want to make sure it is not a two-mile-an-hour walk on a treadmill," she said. "What I want to do, what I want our panel to do, is an independent evaluation of the stress test. That's what we are looking for... And look, ultimately I hope I come back to you and say 'hey, guys, fabulous stress test.'"
"I think there is no reason we shouldn't able to [get this information]," Warren added. "And I hope that that is the point of view that ultimately prevails."
A Harvard Law professor, Warren was appointed to chair the five-person congressional oversight panel for the TARP back in mid-December. Since taking over the post, she has criticized the Treasury on a host of fronts: from a failure to cooperate with her panel, a lack of transparency in its bank-relief program, and not doing enough to stabilize the mortgage market."
Late night jokes:
"Well, you've been watching the big score over the weekend, huh? Navy 3, pirates 0. Yeah! As you know, Navy Seals kicked some Somali pirate booty this weekend. I tell you, those Navy Seals, what incredible marksmen. They shot the three pirates without hitting the captain or any of the parrots that were sitting on the pirates' shoulders." --Jay Leno
"I tell you this, this Capt. Richard Phillips is a genuine American hero. He allowed himself to be taken hostage to save the lives of his crew. And did you know that this Captain Phillips used to be a cab driver in Boston? In fact, so were half the Somali pirates that kidnapped him." --Jay Leno
"Anyway, they asked Captain Phillips what he's going to do now. And he said he's going to Disneyland to wipe out the Pirates of the Caribbean. So I think he's a little wound up." --Jay Leno
"You know, it's interesting, I tell you. We were off last week. And I have to admit when I first heard that a pirate in Africa had grabbed someone hostage, I thought, 'Boy, Madonna is really committed to that adoption.'" --Jay Leno
"Anyway, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder tried to put all this in perspective. He said this is the first act of piracy against the United States literally 'in hundreds of years.' Well, if you don't count AIG, of course." --Jay Leno
"Speaking of that, the New York Post says that Bernard Madoff's wife, Ruth Madoff, may go back to using her maiden name. But I don't know if that's going to work because her maiden name is bin Laden." --Jay Leno
"President Barack Obama got quite a reception when he was in Europe last week. Did you see while he was visiting Germany, the crowd started chanting, 'Yes, we can! Yes, we can!' Pretty amazing, a bunch of Germans chanting, 'Yes, we can.' That has got to make the French a little nervous, huh?" --Jay Leno
"Of course, the big story is that the Obamas got their new puppy! How about that, huh? On Fox News, they declared that the dog is a Muslim socialist." --Jay Leno
"No, it's a Portuguese water dog, which sounds like something you order in a bar, doesn't it?" --Jay Leno
"Of course, the hardest thing these days about paper-training a puppy is finding a newspaper that's still in business." --Jay Leno
"Barack Obama's daughters are very smart. They told him they will take the same responsibility for the dog that he is taking for the economy. That way, if the dog leaves a mess in the White House, it'll be cleaned up by future generations." --Jay Leno
"Actually, this has become a first family tradition. All the first families have had a dog. The Obamas have Bo, that's the name of the dog. The Bushes had Barney. The Clintons, of course, had Bill." --Jay Leno
"This Wednesday, April 15th, taxes are due, but people who work for President Obama are busy doing their taxes for 1998, '99, 2000." --Jay Leno
"Well, look at this. I pick up the paper today, and according to a survey on how Americans will spend their tax returns, 48 percent say they'll pay debts, 39 percent will save it, 27 percent will use it for everyday expenses, 11 percent will make a major purchase, and another 11 percent will use it for vacation. OK, that adds up to 136 percent. OK, there's the problem right there!" --Jay Leno
"Oh, I tell you, the economy's in bad shape. You know Fort Knox? Well, they changed their name to cashforgold.com. That is how bad the economy is." --Jay Leno
"How about that story, with the pirates off the coast of Somalia? Man, I mean, President Obama, this guy is getting it done, you know. He rounded up the Somali pirates and the Madoffs all in the same year. Looking pretty good." --David Letterman
"Anyway, reports are saying that the White House staff loved the dog. But the chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, is jealous, because until the puppy arrived, he was the cutest little guy in the White House." --Craig Ferguson
"Bo arrived just in time, because Sasha and Malia were getting tired of throwing Frisbees at Joe Biden." --Jimmy Fallon
"Bo, that's a great name, although they almost named it after the other dog from the White House, Bill." --Jimmy Fallon
"So the Navy Seal snipers shot three pirates. They shot them at the same time, simultaneously. I mean that is sharp shooting, ladies and gentlemen. Boom, all of them gone. I mean, something like that hasn't really happened since the last Dick Cheney hunting trip." --Jimmy Fallon
"The pirates were trying to negotiate but it was a tough deal. They were hoping to be adopted by Madonna." --Jimmy Fallon