Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wednesday Mashup (2/16/11) (updates)

  • Oh yes, isn’t it just awful that those baad autoworkers at “Government” Motors received bonuses while still taking taxpayer dough (here – of course, nary a peep has been heard from wingnut media over this).

  • Next, even on the exceedingly rare occasion when our Repug PA-08 U.S. House Rep “Mikey The Beloved” Fitzpatrick actually does something right, he still acts like a total wanker about it (here)…

    On Monday night, Fitzpatrick voted against the Patriot Act, one of 27 Republicans to do so. After a 275-144 vote, the bill now goes to the Senate.

    He said amendments that protect the civil liberties of individuals are no longer in the bill, which he voted for in 2005.

    Specifically, he said, he opposes roving wiretaps that permit the federal government to listen in as someone moves from place to place. If a citizen, for example, visits a relative, that relative would then be wiretapped. Should they then go to a friend's home, that person's residence would then be bugged.

    He said he's also against the FBI getting a "business records provision" that would allow the agency to find out, for example, what books an individual has checked out of a library over a 10-year period. "I'm for the Patriot Act, but only if the civil liberties of individuals under the Constitution are honored," he said.
    The only difference between the Patriot Act that Fitzpatrick voted for in 2005 and the one which he voted against renewing now is that the illegal activity carried out by the telecoms in the original bill that he supported in ’05 was legalized by a Democratic congress, to its eternal shame and disgrace, here. Of course, he can now blame the opposition party for what had been taking place all along anyway (as noted here, the Patriot Act basically shreds the Bill of Rights and beyond, no matter which party is in charge of the House). And yes, this is a trap that the House Dems who were once in charge should have anticipated (and all of this sudden supposed interest in civil liberties by Mikey is just a sop to the teabaggers anyway).

    And for good measure, Mikey also inflicts the following…

    As vice chairman of the Oversight Subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee, Fitzpatrick said his goal is to "remove the taxpayer as the backstop" for mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    Fannie Mae has been subsidized to the tune of $1.5 billion a week, Fitzpatrick said, adding that the cost is closing in on $200 billion. In addition, he said taxpayers have spent $160 million defending the companies' top executives in lawsuits.

    He said his committee is looking into getting back those attorney fees.
    Wow, I'm sure that will kick-start the moribund jobless picture, won't it?


    While he said he's for seeing "first time homebuyers get their piece of the American dream," he also said, "We can't keep pushing people into homes they can't afford."

    He criticized the Carter-era Community Reinvestment Act for doing just that. CRA encouraged banks to help get low-income borrowers into homes.

    "The federal government forced them to do it," he said of risky loans. "Who's surprised it came crashing down? + It's highly fixable because we know how we got there.
    First of all, criticizing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for the meltdown is typically absurd, as noted here. And if you don’t want to believe me, believe Dean Baker, who tells us from the link that Fannie and Freddie were “trailing the exuberance of the private sector” in their admittedly unwise deals.

    Second, as noted here, the Community Reinvestment Act “did not contribute to the economic crisis in any substantive way” according to Fed chairman Ben Bernanke.

    I don’t call Fitzpatrick “Mikey The Liar” for nothing, people (of course, Heaven forbid that Mikey’s designated stenographer Gary Weckselblatt would perform some simple Google searches and find out this stuff - can’t have anything interfering with the narrative, after all - though finding a way to take a shot at Jimmy Carter also was an unusually creative touch for a change, though I don't know between he and Mikey who came up with that one).

  • In addition, it’s nice to know that “Governor Bully” is preoccupied with “serious” issues like this one (notice I didn’t say “weighty”…the wingnut umbrage will begin momentarily). He can’t have anything besmirching the good name of the Garden State, I know.

    I guess, as far as he’s concerned, this is a nice diversion from the fact that he blew about $400 million in education funding (here), killed one of this country’s largest public works projects (and he wasn't involved with the alternative noted here), and took a vacation to Disney World while he state dug out of an epic snowstorm (here), but somehow was able to pony up the dough for the Atlantic City casinos (here).

    The soap opera goes on.

  • Update: And of course he peddles this dookey in front of the AEI, who were probably orgasmic over it.

    Update 2/17/11: Uh, yep (h/t Atrios)...

  • Also, we have former Bushco flak Marc Thiessen bloviating as follows (here, concerning the recent events in Egypt)…

    When the protests first erupted, ordinary Egyptians appeared to hope - almost to expect - that once they rose up to demand their freedom, America could not help but stand with them. Instead, they heard President Obama's handpicked envoy, Frank Wisner, declare that Hosni Mubarak "must stay in office" to oversee the changes he had ordered. They heard Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declare the United States backed "the transition process announced by the Egyptian government" (which then consisted of Mubarak staying in power until September). And they waited in vain for Obama himself to speak out clearly and align America with the democratic revolution they had set in motion. Soon their hopes gave way to disappointment and eventually anger. Demonstrators began carrying signs that declared "Shame on you Obama!" and showed Mubarak depicted as Obama in his iconic "hope" image - with a caption that read "No You Can't."
    Boy, that’s weak even for Thiessen – here is the post that he links to, in which there’s no mention made of the possibility that the imagery of the Mubarak poster is meant as a criticism of Obama (if anything, it looks like it's meant as an imitation). And of course, Thiessen provides no link to the alleged “Shame on you Obama!” posters.

    Actually, as noted here, Obama was trying to help get Mubarak out with a "peaceful transfer of power" and new rules on presidential elections, so much so that Deputy Minister for Galilee and Negev Development Ayoub Kara of the Israeli government told Repug presidential nominee Mike Huckabee (yes, I’m serious) that he was “disappointed by Obama’s turning his back” on Mubarak.

    On top of that (and speaking of neocons), Elliott Abrams says here (as you might expect) that it’s important for Obama to imitate Former President Nutball in all of this (or something – so then, as far as Thiessen is concerned, is he admitting that Dubya had it wrong too?).

  • Finally, in the midst of all of the justified outrage over the latest from House Speaker John (“So Be It”) Boehner, it’s easy to forget that he said “everything is on the table” here when it comes to entitlement spending (of course, as I’ve said before, he can pretend to be a spendthrift now that the Repugs got their stinking tax cuts last year in the lame duck session – and you’d better damn believe that they’ll be back for more, unemployment be damned…also, it’s nice to see Boehner’s “firm hand” at work in control of the spoiled children composing the House majority here).

    I thought Rachel Maddow had a nice feature on some of the comical budgeting of the House Repugs here (she had another good feature on Boehner last night - I'll try to track down the video).

  • No comments: