Code Pink & Mr. Liddy

Oh those indomitable, incorrigible ladies from Code Pink are at it again….

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Cityfile New York has an update on the proceedings, but I found this few sentences charming, although it’s not as fun as hanging at firedoglake or Jack & Jill Politics.

Oh, and every once in a while, those crazy ladies from Code Pink get bitched out by the old white men in suits who don’t much appreciate their presence, although it’s also a little unclear why they were even allowed to step inside in the first place. They’re kind of easy to spot, ya know? They’re dressed in pink! And they’re women! Whatever. In the meantime, you’re all caught up. And you’re welcome.

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Eddy Liddy Doesn’t Get It

Anyone know if he’s related to the infamous G. Gordon Liddy?

Sooo – Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL) just asked Liddy if AIG had not received bailout funds, would those bonuses been paid out?  “No.” he said, “Probably not.”  With an explanation about going into bankruptcy.

Last night on Rachel Maddow’s show, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) was on explaining the amendment he and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) had in the stimulus bill.  Below:

MADDOW:  Back in early February, you and Senator Snowe added an amendment to the stimulus bill that, I think, would have prevented AIG from giving out these millions of dollars worth of bonuses.  That amendment was taken out of the bill.

Am I right that your amendment would have stopped what we are experiencing right now?

WYDEN:  You are right.  And that‘s what‘s so sad about this situation.  It simply didn‘t mean to happen.  What happened, Rachel, was we got it through the United States Senate and then like, with so many issues, all the lobbyists came out in droves and somehow magically, the amendment disappeared.  It seems to me now we‘ve got an opportunity to get this job done right but it didn‘t have to happen.

In talking to my boss just a bit ago, she said this is the kind of stuff that drive people to get guns and kill people.  I’m not so inclined myself, but I do think there are undoubtedly people who are desperate enough to not give a rat’s ass or one shit.  Mr. Liddy may need to be a bit more careful than usual.

In watching for the few moments just now, it seems Mr. Liddy is more determined to let ‘everyone know’ what he thinks or how he views this fiasco.  The thing is – we don’t.  Liddy just told the representative  battering him with questions, Mr. Lynch (D-MA), he wasn’t there yet – sooo – it’s not HIS fault.  See?  Emptywheel is live blogging at firedoglake, and Jane – being Jane – has this up on Mr. Liddy.

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If I have the timeline correct, Mr. Liddy was CEO of Allstate during the Katrina debacle when Allstate refused to pay claims.  Have to check that out.

Update-1:  It was Rep. Lynch from Massachusetts who was battering Eddy Liddy with questions.  The funniest exchange, I swear, was when Mr. Liddy said he was offended, and Mr. Lynch replied, “Offense was meant.”   A real laugh-out-loud moment, and here’s a bit on that exchange with some other observations.

Not Budging

This story caught my attention last Thursday regarding Republic Windows & Doors in Chicago.

The United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America Local 1110 was notified Tuesday that the company was closing and that all of its 239 employees would be out of work.

“We were told that Bank of America cut off their financing,” said Leah Fried, an organizer for the union.

A Bank of America spokesman declined to comment./em>

According to an email from ANSWER, “Republic Windows and Doors is planning to move its plant to Iowa because of cheaper labor costs, and to get out of union obligations with the United Electrical Workers Union. Workers across the country are paying a heavy price for the bank’s and corporations’ theft. It’s time for the bankers and companies to pay, NOT THE WORKERS!”

And then I read this in the story from the NY Times:

Still, as they milled around the factory’s entrance this weekend, some workers said they doubted that the company was really in financial straits, and they suggested that it would reopen elsewhere with cheaper costs and lower pay. Others said managers had kept their struggles secret, at one point before Thanksgiving removing heavy equipment in the middle of the night but claiming, when asked about it, that all was well….

Many employees said they had worked in the factory for decades. Lalo Muñoz, who was among those sleeping over in the building, said he arrived 34 years ago. The workers — about 80 percent of them Hispanic, with the rest black or of other ethnic and national backgrounds — made $14 an hour on average and received health care and retirement benefits, Ms. Fried said.

So the company is lying to its workers. ‘Everything is just fine; don’t worry.’ Then suddenly the employees are out of jobs. They’re owed back wages and benefits; they want their wages and severance pay, and most likely Cobra to continue with medical benefits. Continue reading

Goings On Around My Blogosphere

A new place I’ve been reading, Womanist Musings, has some thoughts on Michelle Obama’s role in the upcoming administration.

Robert Reich has a blog on economics I check at least weekly and he wrote a bit of an intro of John Maynard Keynes, allegedly the opposite of Milton Friedman in relation to economic theory.  This is supposed to be simple, but it leaves my mind reeling.

Keynes’ basic idea was simple. In order to keep people fully employed, governments have to run deficits when the economy is slowing. That’s because the private sector won’t invest enough. As their markets become saturated, businesses reduce their investments, setting in motion a dangerous cycle: less investment, fewer jobs, less consumption and even less reason for business to invest. The economy may reach perfect balance, but at a cost of high unemployment and social misery. Better for governments to avoid the pain in the first place by taking up the slack.

And for the largest load of bullshit thus far today –here at DD via David Gergen, continuing the mime of ‘center-right nation.’ Continue reading

Jump!

I found the perfect picture for the $700 billion bailout

Len Hart has an article up about the constitutionality of the ‘bailout.’

The Disappointment That is Obama

Not having been much of an Obama fan from the beginning and certainly not being anywhere near any of my top choices, I was quite slow to warm to him. Actually I much prefer Michelle Obama to her husband. However, I’m pretty pissed at his backing of this latest charade at playing democracy.

Now I’m beginning to understand exactly why I didn’t want to vote for him.  The sense I got was he coming across obliquely, seemingly straightforward but holding back – a reluctance to actually and fully commit too strongly.  And what totally throws me off is his marriage and how he obviously loves his wife and girls.  There appears to be some certain disconnect between his words and his actions. You don’t preach progressive ideals sounding out middle-class woes on one hand and then vote for the very shit you preach is pathologic.  It’s reminds me of a premise or the premise behind Thomas Frank’s book ‘What’s the Matter with Kansas.’  {Wherein the ReThugs “exploits the residents of fly-over country into self-cannibalizing themselves by supporting an ideology that dooms them to diminishing job opportunities and lower wages.”}

For want of a better analogy right now, it’s like getting into a thunderous argument with a lover, who as someone who really knows your ins and outs and that lover uses what they know to undermine your value and enlists a devastating betrayal.  But this – this is going beyond betrayal. It’s a deviousness that appears almost straightforward, but isn’t.  It’s chicanery, it’s slyness – an underhandedness that’s so disconcerting that people have been willing to overlook or ignore it because they absolutely HATE where this country has been going for the past seven years and will be gotdamned if they’ll ever vote for the likes of John McCain.

And so now – now, we’re really fucked. Continue reading

I’m Tellin’ Ya – Stepping Up to the Plate Isn’t IT!

And the Senate passed it – 74-25.

Finance Bill Passes in the Senate

The Senate approved the bill on the federal intervention in the financial markets by a vote of 74-25. Sen. McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Obama (D-IL), and Sen. Biden (D-DE) voted for the bill.

Whoa – just alerted to this by some fellow Agonistas.

“Paulson has made it clear he will recommend a veto of any bill that contained a clear provision that said if Americans did not own the asset on September 20th that it can’t be sold to the Treasury.

Hundreds of billions of dollars are going to bail out foreign investors. They know it, they demanded it and the bill has been carefully written to make sure that can happen.”

Video from CNBC….  it’s about foreign investors.  It’s not about us at all.   (More information from an Agonista talking about it all here.)

Barack Obama has this SO wrong; they all do.