Archive for December 6, 2010

Jimmy Carter Calls Congressional Republicans ‘Completely Irresponsible’

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The Day the Dollar Died

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Keith Olbermann Democrats cave on taxes

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Washington’s Blog – No, The Big Banks Have Not “Paid Back” Government Bailouts and Subsidies

December 6, 2010 Leave a comment

From Washington’s Blog:

No, The Big Banks Have Not “Paid Back” Government Bailouts and Subsidies

The big banks claim that they have paid back all of the bailout money they received, and that the taxpayers have actually made money on the bailouts.

However, as Barry Ritholtz notes:

Pro Publica has been maintaining a list of bailout recipients, updating the amount lent versus what was repaid.

So far, 938 Recipients have had $607,822,512,238 dollars committed to them, with $553,918,968,267 disbursed. Of that $554b disbursed, less than half — $220,782,546,084 — has been returned.

Whenever you hear pronunciations of how much money the TARP is making, check back and look at this list. It shows the TARP is deeply underwater.

Moreover, as I pointed out in May, the big banks have received enormous windfall profits from guaranteed spreads on interest rates:

Bloomberg notes:

Continue Reading

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Washington’s Blog – Does Bernanke Look Like a Man Who is Confident About the State of the Economy and the Prospects for Recovery?

December 6, 2010 Leave a comment

From Washington’s Blog:

Does Bernanke Look Like a Man Who is Confident About the State of the Economy and the Prospects for Recovery?

There is a lot to say about Bernanke’s comments on 60 Minutes today.

Bernanke’s statement that unemployment is the biggest impediment to economic recovery is ironic, given that Bernanke’s policies have increased unemployment. See this and this.

Harry Blodget notes that Bernanke implied that inequality is destroying America. Tyler Durden hones in on Bernanke’s statements that the economic recovery may not be self-sustaining, and that the Fed may buy even more bonds. Daily Bail picks on Bernanke’s claim that the Fed is not printing money.

There are certainly a lot of interesting things to say about Bernanke’s words.

But I think the real story is how nervous Bernanke appears.

Listen to his voice, and watch his lips quaver:

Ignore his words … does this look like a man who is confident about the state of the economy and the prospects for recovery?

Does this sound like a man who is sure that history will judge his actions kindly?

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Firedoglake – 159,000 Jobs Lost: The Price of NAFTA-Style Korea Free Trade

December 6, 2010 Leave a comment

From Firedoglake:

159,000 Jobs Lost: The Price of NAFTA-Style Korea Free Trade December 4, 2010

US Chamber Watch: NAFTA-Style Korea Free Trade Supporters Are “Outsourcers All” December 4, 2010

Linda Sanchez: Obama’s NAFTA-Style Korea Free Trade Deal Will Send Jobs Overseas December 4, 2010

Obama Takes Credit For Bush’s NAFTA-Style Korea Free Trade Deal He Once Opposed December 6, 2010

Sherrod Brown: Obama’s NAFTA-Style Korea Trade Deal A “Dangerous Mistake” December 4, 2010

AFL-CIO Legislative Meeting Explodes Over Obama’s NAFTA-Style Korea Free Trade Deal December 6, 2010

By: Jane Hamsher Monday December 6, 2010 10:17 am

It’s been over 48 hours and the only union response on Obama’s NAFTA-Style Korea Free Trade agreement has been a thumbs up from Bob King and the UAW.

But the thundering silence from the other unions is not indicative of what’s going on behind the scenes. At the AFL-CIO’s weekly Monday morning legislative meeting, the UAW tried to sell the deal to their fellow unions in the federation.

The unanimous disapproval from all the other unions was summed up in a 10 minute invective by Matt McKinnon, the Political Director of the Machinists, who said:

  • UAW President Bob King threw every other union under the bus, and did not even bother to call his fellow AFL-CIO union presidents who are most affected and involved in the trade debate before announcing to the world their shameful, betraying position (no doubt why Leo Gerard took a jab at King over the weekend).
  • It takes a fat load of nerve for the UAW to be asking others to abandon their long time positions just because the UAW went “yellow belly flip flop”
  • The UAW got nothing it wanted, and the auto provisions they got in exchange for their support are “worth a bucket of warm spit”
  • The deal will be the demise of not only UAW, but the 35% “rule of origin” provisions will be the China duty-free death knell for all US manufacturing – unless the other unions do the work to kill it. Such provisions require that only 35% of products coming into the US duty free be of Korean origin — the rest can come from parts made in China.
  • The deal replicates everything in NAFTA that they have all opposed forever
  • It’s vicious slap in the face by the White House – they do NOTHING to help labor, and then they do THIS?
  • It’s a suicide mission for the 2012 election

There was not one AFL-CIO union at the meeting who did not vigorously oppose the deal.  But they have all remained silent so far, giving the White House three free days to whip support for the bill as if the UAW position represents them all.

Everyone is waiting to hear what Leo Gerard of the Steelworkers has to say.  In the meantime, those of us who are out here alone trying to define the trade deal for what it is become low hanging fruit for the Chamber — and with the phalanx of paid trolls they’ve had across the internet, it was only a matter of time before this kind of personal slime started rolling out from anti-labor astroturf operations.

Which is to be expected when you cross the Chamber of Commerce, but for the record, my relationship with Andy Stern didn’t end over the public option, one of Andy’s enemies just made that up — a crook who isn’t fit to shine Andy’s shoes.  Andy and I are still friends, and I congratulated him last week on voting against the Catfood Commission’s recommendations.  His was by far the best plan, and it was the right thing to do.

In the mean time Sherrod Brown, Mike Michaud, Linda Sanchez, US Chamber Watch, Friends of the Earth, Public Citizen and the Sierra Club have all been stars, working overtime this weekend to push back against the Chamber-generated propaganda.  But we can’t carry this kind of heavy lift alone.  Every hour that goes by, the narrative of the deal’s “glorious achievement” gets locked in, and it will be harder and harder to move people once they’ve already committed to support it.  All the while, those out in front of the opposition become sitting ducks for the Chamber’s formidable resources.

It’s clear from what happened this morning that that UAW intends to try to block a tough AFL-CIO opposition to the deal, and demand that the federation sit it out.

Everyone is waiting on you, Leo.  It’s time to do the right thing and oppose this deal for being the piece of shit you well know it to be — and call for the war against this and all such trade deals that everyone who cares about American jobs is ready and willing to fight.

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Briefing: Tina Gerhardt on the Cancun Climate Summit

December 6, 2010 Leave a comment