Monday, April 19, 2010

Paul Krugman, Bill Clinton, World Hunger, the Mental Illness of Tom Tancredo

Paul Krugman
E J dionne Jr
Bill Clinton

"Much of the financial industry has become a racket — a game in which a handful of people are lavishly paid to mislead and exploit consumers and investors. And if we don’t lower the boom on these practices, the racket will just go on." - Paul Krugman
"Criticism is part of the lifeblood of democracy. No one is right all the time. But we should remember that there is a big difference between criticizing a policy or a politician and demonizing the government that guarantees our freedoms and the public servants who enforce our laws." - Bill Clinton

Paul Krugman weighs in on the Goldman Sachs indictment, he is always easy to read, unlike most other economists. I notice that many of the more conservative blogs are saying that the indictment comes at just the right time to influence public opinion in favor of the financial reform bill now in consideration by the Senate. Well, duh, Sherlocks, of course it is. But it is also the SEC finally bucking up and doing its job, which it let slide for the past nine years. The rightys are trying to have it both ways, crying about how Washington never does its job, which is why we need less of it, then crying foul when the SEC actually tries to do its job, violating poor Goldman Sach's rights.

If the SEC is correct, and it looks pretty obvious that packaging securities that specifically are bound to fail so that one of its managers can bet that they will fail, while selling it to others as an investment package to beef up the amount of money to be made when it does fail, is pretty crooked and a premeditated rip-off. Yet this comes from the most respected and largest company on Wall Street. If you are someone who thinks that this is OK to do in a free market environment, then you are either just as criminal or are incredibly naive. Here in Colorado, my fellow bloggers talk about purity and adherence to ideals an awful lot, I guess the rarified mile high air affects the ability to reason, plus shrivels up the sense of humor...

oklahoma bombings...
Today is the anniversary of the Oklahoma bombings and the torching of the Branch Davidians in Waco. There will be celebrations by extremists who will be wrapping themselves up in the flag as an excuse to march and protest. Bill Clinton, our next Secretary of State, addresses this. Every time I open the newspaper there is at least one more bombing that kills the lives of innocent people. It is such an overkill that it churns my stomach to see each new headline. I cannot in good conscience promote an ideology that condones the use of bombings to make a political statement. Our soldiers are facing these kinds of dangers every day, and have come back missing limbs and with brain injuries. Our government has tried to keep this kind of terrorism from migrating to our shores, the last thing we need to do is glorify it from within.

haiti, and world hunger...
Another bummer is that Hurricane season is quickly coming to the Caribbean, meaning that there will be more tragedies from Haiti. There never was enough aid provided to feed everyone who needed help, so there are still close to a million people living on the edge of starvation.

The world's population is increasing, and in the marginal, developing countries, there is not enough food for everyone. It's estimated that 53% of the world's population doesn't have enough food and water. So the children end up dying, one every six seconds. Every time the cost of food goes up, millions more are in jeopardy.

The World Food Programme has seen donations shrink this year, and they are going to be cutting back on providing aid to places like Yemen, in essence, choosing who lives and dies. The US has been the largest donor to the food aid program in Yemen, other countries that traditionally help, like Great Britain, Germany,and Saudi Arabia, haven't given any money because they don't like the corrupt government. Ahh, this is too depressing, maybe I can find something to change my mood...

sieg, vile! Seig, vile!...
And of course, the good old USA won't let me down, at least as far as tea party madness is concerned, always cheerful as long as I'm far, far away from the maddening crowd... TPM reports on a rally in South Carolina over the weekend, where Colorado's own resident wacko Tom Tancredo seems to be kicking it up a notch: "The event was hosted by the Upcountry Conservative Coalition, a local South Carolina conservative group that describes its mission statement as:

We the People...are coalescing to reclaim our God given rights by restoring our Constitutional Republic."

The link provides videos, but some of the fun quotes that got applause from the crowd are:
Tommy T -"Americans are going to have to pray that we can hold on to this country."

He added, referring to President Obama: "If his wife says Kenya is his homeland, why don't we just send him back?"
Pastor Stan Craig, of the Choice Hills Baptist Church, was particularly angry about the state of Washington, saying he "was trained to defend the liberties of this nation." He declared that he was prepared to "suit up, get my gun, go to Washington, and do what they trained me to do."
Another speaker, who claimed Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is gay, noted:

"I'm a tolerant person. I don't care about your private life, Lindsey, but as our U.S. Senator I need to figure out why you're trying to sell out your own countrymen, and I need to make sure you being gay isn't it."

As for good ol' Tom Tancredo, ex-Congressman, the son of Italian immigrants, who is out trying to make up the ton of money he lost last year in a hedge fund account, one of the TPM readers dug up this psychological revelation which may explain why he is so vitriolic: "As a Viet Vet I took interest in this because I can't take the wrapped-in-the-flag chicken hawks.

A "Rocky Mountain News" article recounts:

It was reported that in 1970, after Tancredo's student deferments ran out, he appealed his 1-A draft status, which would have put him at the top of the list for draft eligibility during the Vietnam War.

Tancredo said he didn't remember it that way. But he said he was given a 1-Y status, which put him at the bottom of the list, when he reported that he had been treated for mental illness as a teenager.

Tancredo said he was diagnosed with depression when he was 16 or 17 and received medication for five years for panic attacks and bouts of anxiety and depression....

In a radio interview, Tancredo was quoted saying "I did not serve. I could not serve, but I certainly wish that I had that opportunity." So, Tom illustrate my argument that many of the right wing are mentally ill. Another theory why we have seen Tom so much lately, is that perhaps he has gone off of his meds...

And jep07 sums it up nicely: "The more the public leaves them behind, the more desperate their rhetoric becomes. Thy think they are winning back converts, but they are really distilling it all down to the worst elements, down to that lawless mob that has always been there for people like Tancredo." All in all, I wish I had attended. Our rallies in Colorado springs are so docile and politely attended in comparison...

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