Why The President Is Probably Going To Lose

by lestro

Once again, President Obama is pulling a 180 on Candidate Obama’s promises. In this case, he promised that he would punish  those responsible for intentionally tanking the economy in 2008. Now, it seems, the president is doing everything he can to make sure everything works out in Wall Street’s favor while the good folks on Main Street who got totally and completely fucked will be left to pick up scraps and continue to slave away for our corporate overlords.

On the one side is Eric Schneiderman, the New York Attorney General, who is conducting his own investigation into the era of securitizations – the practice of chopping up assets like mortgages and converting them into saleable securities – that led up to the financial crisis of 2007-2008.

On the other side is the Obama administration, all the banks, and, now, apparently, all the other state attorneys general.  […]

This deal will also submarine efforts by both defrauded investors in MBS and unfairly foreclosed-upon homeowners and borrowers to obtain any kind of relief in the civil court system. The AGs initially talked about $20 billion as a settlement number, money that would “toward loan modifications and possibly counseling for homeowners,” as Gretchen Morgenson reported the other day.

The banks, however, apparently “balked” at paying that sum, and no doubt it will end up being a lesser amount when the deal is finally done.

To give you an indication of how absurdly small a number even $20 billion is relative to the sums of money the banks made unloading worthless crap subprime assets on foreigners, pension funds and other unsuspecting suckers around the world, consider this: in 2008 alone, the state pension fund of Florida, all by itself, lost more than three times that amount ($62 billion) thanks in significant part to investments in these deadly MBS.

So this deal being cooked up is the ultimate Papal indulgence. By the time that $20 billion (if it even ends up being that high) gets divvied up between all the major players, the broadest and most destructive fraud scheme in American history, one that makes the S&L crisis look like a cheap liquor store holdup , will be safely reduced to a single painful but eminently survivable one-time line item for all the major perpetrators.

I love the line “the ultimate papal indulgence.”  That’s genius.

This is the essential problem facing Obama next year: the failure to even TRY to deliver on the promises he made as a candidate.

I’ve been wracking my brain; what part of his platform has he succeeded in passing?

Healthcare? nope.  He buckled and we got Hillary’s plan instead of the public option we voted for.

Closing Gitmo? nope.

Out of Iraq? not quite.

Afghanistan? still there, though we did get Bin Laden and Obama should be commended for that.

Certainly we haven’t seen the ‘change’ we were promised and frankly, I am yet to see him even try.  I expect the youth vote to stay home, once again convinced that their vote don’t mean shit, and when you remove those votes, shift the independents around and factor in a fired-up right wing, you get a mix that spells doom for the president in a race where turnout is going to be the key component…

Mark my words, this is turning into the theme song of the 2012 election:

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Rights and benefits denied

by lestro

After reading this article in today’s New York Times, it is literally impossible to continue saying that marriage does not provide certain rights and benefits that are being denied to an entire class of people (to use the legal term) while being bestowed on another.

And that is wholly unamerican and unconstitutional.

Today’s article is about health care and how difficult it is for gay couples to get the same benefits married couples get simply by signing a legal contract denied to a certain percentage of the population:

Same-sex couples have been making headlines; Maine followed the lead of Iowa and Vermont this week in legalizing same-sex marriage, and several other state legislatures are now considering it. But Ms. Hudson says that fairer and more comprehensive health care coverage for partners — whether they are legally married or not — is not necessarily part of the package.

“For the vast majority of gay couples,” she said, “getting health insurance for a domestic partner is still a challenge.”

[…]

Even if the relationship is formalized with the state in a marriage or union, that does not always obligate the employer to cover a same-sex spouse. For one thing, self-insured employers are not regulated by the states.

And other benefit-providing employers that choose not to offer such coverage can sometimes use the Defense of Marriage Act — a law that forbids the federal government to recognize same-sex marriage — to trump state laws, said Ilse de Veer, a principal with Mercer.

Let’s review the 14th Amendment while we’re at it, just to make sure we understand why all this is illegal:

…No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws…

Without a doubt, gay people are not getting equal protection under the laws, especially in health care.

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We must hang together, gentlemen…

by lestro

McCain’s newest Joe the Plumber line is a pile of doo-doo:

“As Joe has reminded us all, America did not become the greatest nation on Earth by giving money to the government to spread the wealth around,” Mr. McCain told supporters, referring to a quotation from Mr. Obama.

Actually, McCain has that backwards. It was exactly that sort of thing that helped lead to the US to become the greatest nation on earth (the reason the US is the greatest nation, by the way, is the philosophical idea that all men are created equal and that governments exist to protect the rights of its people; two very fresh-at-the-time ideas from the Declaration).

But let’s humor Johnny Mac:  So public education, Social Security, those tax breaks for wealthy corporations, the highway system, the military rebuilding New Orleans, that bridge in Minnesota and all that shit – not to mention the $700 billion bailout we just approved –  that’s not giving money to the government and spreading the wealth around?

That’s EXACTLY what it is and what taxes are for, Johnny. The idea that we are stronger together than we are apart is not only the very basis for the United States (remember Franklin? “We must hang together, gentlemen…else, we shall most assuredly hang separately“), but it is also the idea behind CostCo.

Anyone who has ever had to do their own shopping (or bought their own drugs) will tell you that buying in quantity lowers price. That’s how it works.  With everything.

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McCain has a familiar plan for health insurance

by twit

It turns out that McCain’s plan to “fix” the health insurance system is actually a lot worse than causing five million more people to lose their health insurance.

Paul Krugman reports on September 19, 2008 that John McCain wrote an article,”Better Health Care at Lower Cost for Every American,” in the latest issue of the magazine Contingencies, and says this:

Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation.

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McCain’s Health Insurance Plan: 5 million more people lose coverage

by lestro

Here’s an interesting little note on the McCain health insurance plan:

The article, published in the journal Health Affairs, argues that “initially there would be no real change in the number of people covered as a result of the McCain plan.” After a short-term reduction of 1 million in the number of people without coverage, the number of uninsured would increase by 5 million after five years, the authors predict.

Say what?

That’s a health care plan in the same vein as a 300-pound football player named Tiny or a rights-destroying bill called the PATRIOT Act.

or a “Blue Skies Act” that allows coal plant owners to avoid added scrunbbers.

or a “Healthy Forest Initiative” that opens up national land to logging.

or the “No Child Left Behind Act” that identifies schools in need of additional resources and then fixes them by removing money.

What?

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Hey, did I mention that I slept with Chelsea Clinton?

by lestro

Yup, we got together, did a bunch of blow and then fucked like wild animals for an entire weekend, before her girlfriend came home and threw me out. I haven’t really heard from her since the abortion, but I get a text message every now and again.

Hey, it could be true, right?

and that is all that matters to me and Chelsea:

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morning cartoons

by twit

Barbie Tarot cards

high priestess barbie

Traditionally dressed in blue with the moon under her feet, she represents wisdom, intuition and purity of knowledge.

Here she is packaged with the moon behind her, holding strings of pure white pearls and wearing a priestess’ circlet.

devil barbie

Licentiousness, lack of self-discipline and being a prisoner to one’s own desires are all faults of the Devil, though the positive aspect of all this are lost inhibitions, passion and the understanding that comes with experience.

Here is Barbie as Catwoman, gleefully waving her whip and celebrating her physical and erotic power. Does that disguise liberate her or entrap her?

thx Jezebel

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