Friday, December 26, 2008

 

Open Thread

I'm in Atlanta visiting with my sister and brother-in-law. Alas, my wireless access is somewhat limited. So, feel free to chat away on end-of-the-year stuff.

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

 

Merry Christmas

Blessings of great joy and happiness to my readers and all Americans. May you enjoy this special time of the year with family, friends and all those closest to you.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

 

Linkin' One Generation To Another

One Illinois son connects to another as Obama uses Lincoln's Bible to be sworn in as the 44th president.

Some might see this as an example of Obama "arrogance" -- putting himself up there with Lincoln.

On the contrary, this keeps with Obama's attempt to try unifying the country during difficult times. Besides, as someone who implicitly embodies America's moving forward from its racially divided past, this is poignant and most appropriate symbolism.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

 

Banks To U.S.: Drop Dead

The first part of that $700 billion bailout to the banks went -- where?

The banks essentially say, "Why the hell should we have to tell you?":
It's something any bank would demand to know before handing out a loan: Where's the money going? But after receiving billions in aid from U.S. taxpayers, the nation's largest banks say they can't track exactly how they're spending the money or they simply refuse to discuss it.
"We've lent some of it. We've not lent some of it. We've not given any accounting of, 'Here's how we're doing it,'" said Thomas Kelly, a spokesman for JPMorgan Chase, which received $25 billion in emergency bailout money. "We have not disclosed that to the public. We're declining to."
The Associated Press contacted 21 banks that received at least $1 billion in government money and asked four questions: How much has been spent? What was it spent on? How much is being held in savings, and what's the plan for the rest?
None of the banks provided specific answers.
"We're not providing dollar-in, dollar-out tracking," said Barry Koling, a spokesman for Atlanta, Ga.-based SunTrust Banks Inc., which got $3.5 billion in taxpayer dollars.

What a beautiful quote from the guy from JPMorganChase (in fairness, the most financially secure banking institution)! "We're declining to [disclose how we're spending our $25 billion]."

And the administration (Bush, Paulson and Co., who, yes, are still around) wants Congress to release the second $350 billion? Yeah, right.

As poorly as Congress rushed to approve the $700 billion, perhaps it did get one key element right --turning it into an installment plan. Given this intransigence from banks who have already gotten billions, how can Congress, in good conscience just open up the spiggot once again -- with no strings attached?

Will Bush use the Iraq war-funding gambit ("Release the money NOW or everything will fall apart!!")? Will it work? Better yet, what signal will Obama send Congress?

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

 

SCANDAL '08: Dems Strike Back

In Sunday's Post, I take a look at the year in scandal, noting that the Democrats sweep of Republicans extended to taking the corruption crown that the GOP had almost to itself over the previous election cycle.

(Click on the inset art, which is quite amusing, if I do say so myself).

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