Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Nate Silver: It's the President, Stupid

This is from Nate Silver in Esquire magazine. This is GOLD!

The performance of the economy, it has long been believed, is the key determinant of voting behavior in the midterm elections. For example, the recession of 1982, and a corresponding double-digit unemployment rate, is usually blamed for the twenty-six-seat loss that Ronald Reagan’s Republicans sustained in the House that year. Or take 1946, when the economy contracted severely while reorienting itself after World War II and Harry Truman’s Democrats lost fifty-four House seats. Dwight Eisenhower’s Republicans faced reelection in a recessionary environment in 1958 and lost forty-eight seats; Gerald Ford’s, also facing a recession (as well as the stain of Watergate), lost the same number in 1974.

Recent elections, however, have done much to challenge that premise. Bill Clinton helped to create millions of new jobs and pull the economy out of recession, and yet in 1994, his party suffered a catastrophic defeat at the midterms, losing a net of fifty-four representatives and eight senators. George W. Bush, on the other hand, gained eight House seats in 2002 in spite of an economy that had just escaped from a recession and was still shedding jobs.

There are some earlier contradictions, too, when one examines the record more carefully. The economy was extremely strong in 1966, growing at a 6.5 percent clip that year, but Lyndon Johnson couldn’t stave off the loss of forty-seven Democratic seats in the House. On the other hand, George H. W. Bush’s Republicans lost just eight seats for the party in 1990 in spite of an economy still in the midst of a recession.

Audio-GM dealer wants uncertainty to end

GM dealer wants uncertainty to end

Friday, March 27, 2009

Omni National Bank in Georgia Shut, 21st U.S. Failure (Bloomberg)

Omni National Bank in Georgia Shut, 21st U.S. Failure 

March 27 (Bloomberg) -- Omni National Bank of Atlanta was seized by federal regulators, the 21st U.S. bank to fail this year, as foreclosures rise amid the recession and the highest unemployment in a quarter century.

Omni National, with $956 million in assets and $796.8 million in deposits, was shut today by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was named receiver, the OCC said in a statement. SunTrust Banks Inc. of Atlanta will operate the lender’s six branches in four states and wind down the bank by April 27, the FDIC said.

FoxBiz - Omni National Fails; SunTrust Steps In as Paying Agent

Afghan soldier kills two U.S. troops -military Fri Mar 27, 2009 2:17pm ED (from Reuters)

KABUL, Reuters (March 27) - An Afghan army soldier shot dead two U.S. servicemen and wounded a third before killing himself in northeast Afghanistan on Friday, U.S. military said.

The Afghan soldier fired at the U.S. soldiers, killing one and wounding two others, one of whom died later, it said in a statement.

"One coalition service member was killed ... another died of wounds and a third was wounded by an Afghan National Army soldier who reportedly fired upon them," it said. "The Afghan National Army soldier reportedly killed himself immediately after the incident."

The incident occurred at about 2:20 p.m. (1020 GMT), before U.S. President Barack Obama unveiled the results of his administration's strategy review of Afghanistan, which includes strengthening Afghanistan's national security forces.

The training of the Afghan army and police is being undertaken by U.S. forces.

The U.S. statement quoted Afghan Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak as saying the incident was being investigated and "full corrective action" would be taken.

No further information was available from U.S. military. Similar incidents have occurred in the past in Afghanistan, where about 70,000 foreign troops are fighting a growing Taliban insurgency.

Obama's new strategy for Afghanistan set out as its key objective the defeat of al Qaeda militants there and in Pakistan who he said were plotting new attacks on the United States. (Reporting by Golnar Motevalli; Editing by Andrew Dobbie)

Wanted U.S. marshal's body found in Mexico (Video 0:46)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

GOP Senators Who Used Budget Reconciliation To Pass Bush Agenda Items Now Calling It ‘Chicago Style Politics’

A list of instances where reconciliation was implemented:

Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1980
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981
Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1982
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1983
Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1989
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993
Balanced Budget Act of 1995 (vetoed)
Personal Responsibility and Budget Reconciliation Act of 1996
Balanced Budget Act of 1997
Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997
Taxpayer Refund and Relief Act of 1999 (vetoed)
Marriage Tax Relief Act of 2000 (vetoed)
Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001
Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003
The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005
Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005

BOND: “In this post-partisan time of Barack Obama, we’re seeing a little Chicago politics. They steamroller those who disagree with them, then, I guess in Chicago, they coat them in cement and drop them in the river.” [NPR, 3/24/09]

Bond appears to be parroting his colleague Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH), who said any use of budget reconciliation by President Obama would be “regarded as an act of violence” against Republicans, and likened it to “running over the minority, putting them incement and throwing them in the Chicago River.” Other GOP senators have chimed in against reconciliation, with Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) calling it a “purely partisan exercise” and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) saying it “would be a mess.”

Despite their howls against Obama, Republicans employed the same procedure to pass major Bush agenda items (which were supported by all four aforementioned Senators):


Created in a budget resolution in 1974 as part of the congressional budget process, the reconciliation process is utilized when Congress issues directives to legislate policy changes in mandatory spending (entitlements) or revenue programs (tax laws) to achieve the goals in spending and revenue contemplated by the budget resolution. First used in1980 this process was used at the end of a fiscal year to enact legislation to fine tune revenue and spending levels through legislation that could not be filibustered in the Senate. The policy changes brought about by this part of the budget process have served as constraints on the levels of mandatory spending and federal tax revenues which also has served since 1981 as a vehicle for deficit reduction. The reconciliation process is an optional procedure and not a required action by Congress every fiscal year as is passage of the concurrent budget resolution. However, during the eighteen year period from 1980 to 1998 thirteen reconciliation measures have been enacted into law and numerous others have been considered by Congress. Occasionally, reconciliation legislation has included certain such enforcement mechanisms as extensions of the discretionary spending limits and PAYGO requirements or even reforms to the budget process. Whether for tax reduction, tax increases, deficit reduction, mandatory spending increases or decreases or adjustments in the public debt limit, this process has been used to focus many agents on one goal.

Legislators want to accept stimulus funds

The biggest chunk of money at issue is about $170 million for education. School district officials are mad, and Anchorage Democratic Rep. Harry Crawford said he doesn't expect legislators to withhold the money.


JUNEAU -- Top Alaska legislators said Tuesday they're likely to accept at least most of the federal economic stimulus money that Gov. Sarah Palin did not.

"I think at the end of the day we will end up taking most of the funds," said Anchorage Republican Rep. Mike Hawker, who is leading the House effort on the stimulus as co-chairman of the finance committee.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Protesters tell Palin to take stimulus funds (from ADN)

"We need a governor, not a presidential candidate," said another.

"Mama Grizzly, you forgot your cub," said one sign.

Dozens of protesters held signs Saturday criticizing Gov. Sarah Palin for turning away federal economic stimulus money they said is vital for education and other services for Alaskans.

Rep. Craig Johnson gets an earful as pickets greet the Anchorage Legislative Caucus arriving for a hearing with local officials and the general public March 21, 2009, at the Loussac Library.

Special education teacher Deanna Youngren of Hanshew Middle School addresses the Anchorage Legislative Caucus March 21, 2009, at Loussac Library.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Cooperative Bankshares gets cease-and-desist order from FDIC

Coastal lender Cooperative Bankshares has become the second Wilmington bank in as many months to face a cease-and-desist order from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

The order from the U.S. banking regulator requires Cooperative Bankshares (Nasdaq: COOP), the parent of Cooperative Bank, to improve capital levels, develop a management plan, and hold off on dividend payments until it receives regulatory approval, among other actions.

Feds shut banks in Georgia, Colorado, Kansas By MARCY GORDON – 22 hours ago

Regulators on Friday shut down banks in Georgia, Colorado and Kansas, marking 20 failures of federally insured banks this year. More are expected to succumb to the prolonged recession.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was appointed receiver of the failed banks.

FirstCity Bank of Stockbridge, Ga., had about $297 million in assets and $278 million in deposits as of March 18. Colorado National Bank of Colorado Springs, Colo., had $123.5 million in assets and total deposits of $82.7 million as of Dec. 31. Paola, Kan.-based Teambank N.A. had assets of $669.8 million and total deposits of $492.8 million as of Dec. 31.

The FDIC said it will mail checks to depositors of FirstCity Bank for their insured funds on Monday morning. Direct deposits from the federal government, such as Social Security and veterans' benefits payments, will be transferred to SunTrust Bank.

Colorado National fails, to reopen as Herring Bank of Texas

Federal regulators Friday seized Colorado National Bank, the first local bank failure in nearly 20 years, and sold its deposits to Herring Bank of Amarillo, Texas, which will reopen Colorado National's former branches in Colorado Springs, Monument and Peyton today.

Stockbridge bank is state’s 8th to fail

FirstCity Bank in Stockbridge was closed Friday by state regulators, becoming the eighth Georgia bank to fail in the past seven months.

The small bank, founded in 1905, collapsed amid a rising tide of bad loans tied to the battered real estate market. Last year, FirstCity lost $8.3 million and reported $24.5 million in non-performing loans, a four-fold increase from the year before.

U.S. credit union victim of soured mortgage market Sat Mar 21, 2009 6:46pm EDT

Regulators worked on Saturday to assess troubles at the largest U.S. corporate credit union with the aim of keeping liquidity flowing through the nation's 7,800 credit unions.

A new chief executive will take charge on Monday at U.S. Central Federal Credit Union following seizure by regulators on Friday. The institution, with $34 billion in assets, provides settlement services used by more than 90 percent of all U.S. credit unions, which are member-owned lending institutions.

The National Credit Union Administration, or NCUA, took control of U.S. Central as well as Western Corporate (WesCorp) Federal Credit Union of San Dimas, California, another corporate credit union with $23 billion in assets.

Feds seize two big KC area financial institutions By MARK DAVIS The Kansas City Star

Federal regulators seized two large Kansas City area financial institutions Friday to protect depositors’ accounts.

U.S. Central Credit Union, a $34 billion institution based in Lenexa, was placed into a federally controlled conservatorship.

AIG sparks "Lifestyles of the Rich & Infamous" tour (from Reuter)

A small political party angry at bonuses paid to staff of bailed out insurance giant American International Group is organizing a bus tour to the Connecticut homes of several AIG executives.

"We're all mad at AIG," the Connecticut Working Families Party, a small liberal party, said on its Web site, inviting people to sign up for its "Lifestyles of the Rich and Infamous" bus tour and a rally at the company's Wilton, Connecticut, headquarters, on Saturday.

"Their executives bear a large share of the responsibility for bringing the economy to its knees, and now the same folks are getting hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses -- at our expense," the website said.

Hefty bonuses paid to AIG executives after a $180 billion government bailout have sparked outrage. The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday approved a bill taxing such payments at a 90 percent rate, but the Senate has yet to act.

AIG employees have expressed concern about the safety of workers who were paid a total of $165 million in bonuses. Some AIG executives have received death threats.

AIG did not have any immediate comment.

A spokesman for the Connecticut Working Families Party declined to say which AIG executives would be visited on the tour. He said the bus would hold about 50 people.

Hypocrisy Watch - Hypocrisy Watch: Rep. Michele Bachmann - video 1:49

Friday, March 20, 2009

Hypocrisy Watch - Multi video

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pentagon aims to bring jobs back in house

Defense contractors enjoyed robust growth in business over the past decade as both the Clinton and Bush Pentagons converted tens of thousands of jobs from government employees to contractor personnel.

But as the Obama administration looks for ways to reduce growth in the defense budget, the Pentagon is eyeing those contractor jobs as targets. At a House Budget Committee hearing Wednesday morning, Chairman John Spratt, D-S.C., asked the Pentagon's top accountant why the defense budget has grown so much faster than inflation over the past decade.

Robert Hale, the Defense Department comptroller, told Spratt that those outsourced contractor jobs have ended up being more expensive than government workers. Now the Pentagon is looking at bringing some of those contractor jobs back in-house, Hale said. We "need to look carefully at how many contractors we're using," Hale said.

On the campaign trail, Barack Obama promised to cut all federal contractor spending by at least 10 percent and end the abuse of no-bid contracts.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

"Iron river of guns" flows from U.S. to Mexico 13 Jul 2007 13:40:35 GMT (Reuters)

Gun sales are illegal in Mexico, and many of the firearms used in Mexican crime are simply bought over-the-counter in the United States, where everything from pistols to high-powered assault rifles can be obtained legally, detectives say.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Boost Small-Business Lending

Obama, Geithner to Release Plan to Boost Small-Business Lending

Plan to bolster Small Business Administration lending, the person said. The money will come from the $787 billion economic stimulus plan Congress passed last month.

U.S. job applicants settling for less pay - Audio

FHA overwhelmed by loan demand - Audio 5:00

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Do something for your country before you go. Go kill liberals (from AP)

Tenn. church shooter hoped attack would spur more

He railed against extending constitutional rights to terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, about the news media being "the propaganda wing of the Democrat Party," and how he would like to kill every major Democrat in Congress. But he said they were inaccessible and decided to go after "the foot soldiers, the (expletive) liberals that vote in these traitorous people."

Adkisson concluded, "I'd like to encourage other like-minded people to do what I've done. If life ain't worth living anymore don't just kill yourself. Do something for your country before you go. Go kill liberals."

"I regret that I have but one life to give for my country," said Adkisson, an Air Force veteran. "I hope I start a movement."

Church Shooter Hoped Attack Would Spur More - video 1:45

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Congress is up

Americans' job approval rating of Congress is up an additional 8 points this month, after a 12-point increase last month, and now stands at 39% -- the most positive assessment of Congress since February 2005.

She tells him he can't take the baby to our house because she doesn't want him around 'white trash'!"

'White trash'! You tell him Bristol.

Who didn't see this coming? Star magazine reports that Sarah Palin's 18-year-old daughter, Bristol, has broken off her engagement with her child's father, Levi Johnston. His sister Mercede told the tabloid that "Levi tries to visit Tripp every single day, but Bristol makes it nearly impossible. She tells him he can't take the baby to our house because she doesn't want him around 'white trash'!" She also claims that Bristol ended their relationship more than a month ago, despite Palin's daughter proclaiming all was well in an interview last month with Greta Van Susteren. Their child, Tripp, is two months old. If the report is true, what will Levi do with the tattoo of Bristol's name he has on his ring finger?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tent City - Bushville - video 2:30

Monday, March 9, 2009

Nancy Reagan praises Obama

“I’m very grateful that President Obama has lifted the restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research,” she wrote in a statement released shortly after Obama reversed the Bush administration limits. “These new rules will now make it possible for scientists to move forward. I urge researchers to make use of the opportunities that are available to them and to do all they can to fulfill the promise that stem cell research offers."

Nancy Reagan has been an outspoken advocate of stem cell research — and scientists hope that the research could someday lead to a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, which afflicted her late husband, Ronald Reagan.

Rove whines about the economy - Video 2:10

Bush unveils plan to help subprime borrowers

Congress wrestles with home mortgage crisis | csmonitor.com

Congress wrestles with home mortgage crisis | csmonitor.com

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Sunday, March 8, 2009

Ireland's terrorist strike

Northern Ireland fears return of terrorist past as two soldiers shot dead.

The two soldiers shot dead last night in Northern Ireland appeared to have been killed while lying injured after gunmen exploited a pizza delivery to carry out what is believed to be the first major terrorist attack in the province for more than a decade.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Regulators on Friday shut down Freedom Bank of Georgia

Freedom Bank of Georgia

Marking the 17th failure this year of a federally insured bank, and more are expected to succumb amid a deepening recession.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was appointed receiver of the bank, located in Commerce, Ga. It had about $173 million in assets and $161 million in deposits as of March 4.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Home Ownership and President Bush (17 May 2002) - Video 6:50

Laura Bush at Homeboy Industries touting tattoo removal.

When I think of this: - $200,000 for a tattoo removal violence outreach program to help gang members or others shed visible signs of their past.

I remember this : Laura Bush at Homeboy Industries touting tattoo removal.

From the HI web site.

Featured Service: TATTOO REMOVAL
$125 will provide one free laser tattoo removal session to a young man or woman seeking to take this vital, tangible step in their journey to leave gang life behind them. Removing tattoos is often a life-saving procedure, as visible tattoos are not only an obstacle to employment, but also but our clients at risk from former rivals and police. Removing a tattoo takes up to ten sessions, so a donation of $1,000 will support the complete removal of a tattoo.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Dirt bag Alert

Blackwater founder, CEO resigns

My intent was not to go after Rush

Hey Mike they sell testicles at Wal-Mart.

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele says he has reached out to Rush Limbaugh to tell him he meant no offense when he referred to the popular conservative radio host as an “entertainer” whose show can be “incendiary.”

Eric Cantor on This Week with George Stephanopoulous distancing themselves from Rush Limbaugh (Video)

Michael Steele on CNNs D.L. Hughleydistancing themselves from Rush Limbaugh (Video) Rush Limbaugh (Video)

To stem terror in Pakistan, US looks beyond military | csmonitor.com

To stem terror in Pakistan, US looks beyond military | csmonitor.com

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The Crisis of Credit Visualized

The Crisis of Credit Visualized

Posted using ShareThis

fighting for our homes, Video: 4:45