Abe's blog

The Forbidden Photos

May 18, 2009

Here are the photos your president doesn't want you to see.

The photos are too large for me to upload -- just go have a look.

-A

Everyone's forgiven. Let's move on

April 21, 2009

Here's your White House Chief of Staff, speaking on ABC this past Sunday:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cvp-7YOtRI&feature=player_embedded

According to Rahm, it is the president's position that everybody involved in torture gets a free pass. The officials who dreamed it up, the lawyers who justified it, and the agents who actualy did the torturing. Because, you know, we're all about moving forward now and investigations and prosecutions would be unseemly.

-A

The torture memos

April 21, 2009

A little light reading. There will be a quiz.

-A

A little racism with your tea?

April 20, 2009

I was all set to write a brilliant psychosocial expose of the racist undercurrent of the April 15 Teabag Parties, and then I saw this video of Janean Garofalo and Kieth Olbermann hitting the nail on the head.

(I'm going to figure out how to embed video, I swear it.)

At the end of the day, the teabaggers are racists. It's the only intellectual thread (and I use that term loosely) that unifies all of Teabaggerdom. They're not really protesting taxes, because the president just lowered the taxes of the vast majority of the teabaggers. They're not really protesting the national debt, or deficit spending, because they didn't seem to give a shit when Dubya was emptying the Treasury into Iraq. They're not really protesting Obama's alleged Muslim-ness, 'cuz he's a Christisn. No, they're upset because there's a Black Guy in the White House.

Don't believe me? Check out these pictures:

 

Krugman lays it down

The bank bailout plan is a stinker, sez Paul Krugman:

 

Over the weekend The Times and other newspapers reported leaked details about the Obama administration’s bank rescue plan, which is to be officially released this week. If the reports are correct, Tim Geithner, the Treasury secretary, has persuaded President Obama to recycle Bush administration policy — specifically, the “cash for trash” plan proposed, then abandoned, six months ago by then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

This is more than disappointing. In fact, it fills me with a sense of despair.

After all, we’ve just been through the firestorm over the A.I.G. bonuses, during which administration officials claimed that they knew nothing, couldn’t do anything, and anyway it was someone else’s fault. Meanwhile, the administration has failed to quell the public’s doubts about what banks are doing with taxpayer money.

And now Mr. Obama has apparently settled on a financial plan that, in essence, assumes that banks are fundamentally sound and that bankers know what they’re doing.

It’s as if the president were determined to confirm the growing perception that he and his economic team are out of touch, that their economic vision is clouded by excessively close ties to Wall Street. And by the time Mr. Obama realizes that he needs to change course, his political capital may be gone.

I think the operative phrase is "clouded by excessively close ties to Wall Street." Both Tim Geithner and Ben Bernanke are creatures of the massive entitlement culture that spawned the erstwhile Masters of the Universe. Basically, instead of following the "nationalization" plan of seizing the banks and placing them in receivership until their assets are rehabilitated -- a model that served us well during the last Bush-era financial brouhaha, the savings and loan scandal of the late 1980s, and a model that rescued the Swedish economy -- Geithner wants to purchase the "toxic" mortgage-derivative assets held by the banks at a far higher price than that at which the allegedly infallible free market values them. And he's willing to give them subsidies in order to do so.

Once again -- privatizing the profits, socializing the losses. Damn it feels good to be a banksta.

-A

 

 

Meet the new boss

 Part of the problem inherent in the many-armed bailout of the financial sector is that it hasn't been clear exactly who's in charge. Prior to and during last fall's financial meltdown, it was clear that the money men were calling the shots -- and the grim aftermath of that orgy is apparent to everyone.

President Obama was catapulted into office largely on the hope that it would be he -- and, by extension, us -- who was now in charge. But it seems that the bankers are still calling the tune. Obama's apparent impotence in the face of the AIG bonus scandal, for example, seems to speak to the pervasive influence that the financial sector still weilds over the legislative process.

And now, as the next stage in Obama's bank rescue plan goes forward, the banksters are still acting as if they didn't torpedo the whole economy, as if they are still somehow entitled to the largesse they took for granted. From the NY Times:

 

But some executives at private equity firms and hedge funds, who were briefed on the plan Sunday afternoon, are anxious about the recent uproar over millions of dollars in bonus payments made to executives of the American International Group.

 

Some of them have told administration officials that they would participate only if the government guaranteed that it would not set compensation limits on the firms, according to people briefed on the conversations. The executives also expressed worries about whether disclosure and governance rules could be added retroactively to the program by Congress, these people said.

I went into the wrong line of work. Shoulda been a banksta.

-A

H/T Atrios

Bring on the World Cup

Categories:

World Cup qualifying is back!

For soccer nerds, this is the time you begin to salivate in advance of the World Cup -- which this time around will be played in South Africa next summer. It's the first time the tournament will have ever been staged in Africa, incidentally.

I should mention that next year's World Cup is the men's tournament. And as a matter of fact, a caveat: all the soccer optimism displayed below is for the men's team, because the U.S. Women's team is the best in the world, the defending Olympic champion, and two-time winners of the World Cup. The U.S. men play in a looooong shadow.

Anyway, we've reached the final round of qualifying, dubbed the "Hexagonal" because there are six teams left -- Honduras, Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Trindad & Tobago, and the United States. Our regional federation is called CONCACAF, and comprises North and Central America and the Caribbean.

Each nation plays each other nation twice, home and away, for a total of ten games per team. At the end, the top three teams advance to the World Cup. Standings are kept by awarding three points for a win, one for a draw, and none for a loss. After one game, a 2-0 home win over Mexico, the United States is tied for first place with three points. The U.S. plays its second match against El Salvador on Saturday. The game will be broadcast at 6 p.m. on ESPN2.

The thing is, we are easily the class of the region, and have been for some time. Mexico was a colossus for years and years, but they haven't managed a win on American soil in 10 matches. Mexico's recent past has been full of painful losses to the Americans, including a memorable 2-0 elimination from the 2002 World Cup. We should easily finish in the top three, and will likely finish first.

It's really a relatively new, and strange, feeling as a fan of the U.S. national team. We're actually a respectable side now, and elite soccer nations no longer consider a game against us to be an easy win. It's a product, I think, of several generations growing up with the game. We still have a culture that draws our best athletes into basketball and American football, but the pool of talented young soccer players has grown to the point that we can field some pretty good footballers.

And just as importantly, as you can tell from the roster for Saturday's game, there are lots of Americans playing professionally in Europe, and some are even holding down starting positions in top leagues in England and Germany. Constant competition against world-class opposition will only make them better, and there are talented youngsters coming up all the time.

It's a good time to be an American soccer fan.

-A

Save the Oregon Historical Society Research Library!

Categories:

 Here's some links to more information on the effort to save the OHS Research Library, which Joe mentioned on today's show --

Sign the petition:

www.thepetitionsite.com/1/Save-the-OHSRL-and-staff

Support the library on Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?sid=c8a152f02b9cc3a05fb9735f932da8b1&gid=66575438392

Learn more about the Northwest History Network:

www.northwesthistory.com

Dear Leader

 So, as we will discuss on the show tomorrow, Washington is in the throes of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference. This is an event where the purest of the ideologically pure gather to congratulate themselves on having ascended to the pinnacle of Western civilization.

Predictably, hilarity ensues.

But this year, something strange happened when Rush Limbaugh delivered his much-anticipated speech the other night. Granted, Limbaugh constitutes a strange event in and of himself, but that's not what I mean. On Saturday, Limbaugh spoke for about 90 minutes, all of which was broadcast without commercial interruption on three different networks -- CNN, CSPAN, and FOX News. So he could, you know, talk about how he wants the president to fail:

 

‘It doesn’t matter to me what his race is. He’s liberal, and that’s what matters.’

‘The racism in our culture was exclusively and fully on display in the Democrat primary last year,’ Limbaugh said. ‘We didn’t ask if he was authentically black. What we were asking, was, ‘Was he wrong?’ We concluded, ‘Yes.’ ‘

‘The racism, the sexism, the bigotry that we are all charged with ... doesn’t exist on our side,’ he added. ‘We want everybody to succeed.’

 

What, I'm wondering, is so earthshaking about Rush Limbaugh that he deserves 90 minutes of uninterrupted time on commercial TV? Can anyone think of an analogous figure on the left that has ever been granted such a boon? Anyone?

Limbaugh is clearly the leader of the Republican Party. Newly-elected GOP chair Michael Steele is the latest luminary to be forced to issue an abject apology to El Rushbo. Conservatives cross this guy at their peril.

The good news is that if Rush is calling the tune, the party will soon be over. Could there be any clearer evidence of the fact that the GOP is now a rump party, with solid support only in the South?

-A

Syndicate content

 

Copyright © 2012 KBOO Community Radio | Community Guidelines | Website Illustration & Design by: KMF ILLUSTRATION