Prosecute Bush

Friday, April 24, 2009

Krugman, rightly, calls for investigations.

It’s hard, then, not to be cynical when some of the people who should have spoken out against what was happening, but didn’t, now declare that we should forget the whole era — for the sake of the country, of course.

Sorry, but what we really should do for the sake of the country is have investigations both of torture and of the march to war. These investigations should, where appropriate, be followed by prosecutions — not out of vindictiveness, but because this is a nation of laws.

Exactly right. If laws were broken, and it certainly looks like they were, the criminals should be prosecuted.

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Sunday Notes and Marginalia

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Housing near bottom? Fannie thinks so. Calculated Risk? Not so much. I agree. (Fred Barnes?) [Calculated Risk]

Should Madoffs victims be means tested before getting IRS refunds? Well, let’s put it this way, should Steven Spielberg get a real payout on fictitious profits? I didn’t think so. By all means, give back whatever tax was paid on the fake gains – but please – the compensation / victimization culture is sickening. Why 9/11 and Madoff and not, say, Oklahoma City and Lehman shareholders? It’s insanity. You put your money in the market and you put it at risk. You trust someone without due diligence, you put your money at risk. [Clusterstock]

Larry Summers on Meet the Press:

But cautions that we’ve got a long way to go, that there are still substantial risks, that there are downside contingencies that we’ve got to prepare for, that there are issues in the global economy, that there are issues in commercial real estate, that’s right.

On my mind today:

  • Will the market come back to reality this week? Will the next steep drop begin tmw? It is certainly coming soon.
  • Is this crisis the end of the American dominance? Trite question now, of course, but feeling very real to me today. That would make the Clinton 90s the apotheosis of American Empire. And Bush (9/11) the catalysis that broke our upward trajectory.

  • Bookending Bush

    Tuesday, January 20, 2009

    2001:

    2008:

    Our long national nightmare is over!

    Here’s hoping that this man will pay the price for his crimes.


    Obama’s Folly?

    Monday, December 29, 2008

    Bush’s folly was/is Iraq. Will Obama’s be the stimulus?

    Peter Schiff in the Wall Street Journal:

    It would be irresponsible in the extreme for an individual to forestall a personal recession by taking out newer, bigger loans when the old loans can’t be repaid. However, this is precisely what we are planning on a national level.

    The hope, with all of this printed money, is that it will stimulate the economy to grow again and that, once the growth begins, the Fed can start taking dollars out of circulation without undoing what it just did. It’s a very, very delicate act they’re trying to pull off and Schiff is arguing that, ultimately, it can’t be done. At some point, the piper will have to be paid.

    I don’t disagree, but I do think we have to forestall a massive depression. Recession, yes. Long and hard, yes. But let’s not have 25% unemployment ever again. Let’s have plenty of pain. Just soften the blows a little.

    On an even gloomier note, Marc Faber says short treasuries and buy gold. Hyper-inflation is coming and it’s going to be brutal.

    This I believe. I don’t know the timing, but we are going to have massive inflation at some point likely coupled with a lagging economy (stagflation).

    The only solution after we run through this cycle? Some day, and not far off, America is going to go bankrupt. We are all going to lose our shirts and suffer the harsh austerity measures of a vengeful globe’s bailout (or conquering).

    America, we need to take our medicine now. It’s time to cut spending everywhere. By all means, Obama, borrow and spend, but phase in cutting, too. I can see $100 billion from defense right off the top.

    This simply can’t go on forever.


    Accountability in the Age of Bush

    Sunday, December 14, 2008

    I’m going to make a list of the people who need to be held accountable for the dizzying array of crimes and recklessness that has put our country in its worst position in a century.

    To start, of course, W. Who is going to hold this asshole accountable?

    For starters, my new favorite guy, the Egyptian journalist who threw his shoes at him:

    Love it.


    Reid Says Not Enough Votes for Auto Bailout

    Wednesday, December 3, 2008

    And the CEOs of the Big 3 are in Washington for hearings tomorrow. GM, apparently, needs 4 billion this month or they go under. Disgraceful. But in a nation of disgraces, their gross mismanagement and obscene paychecks are par for the course. Step right up to the government teat.

    At any rate, regardless of whether the votes are there now or not, the automakers are getting their bailout. Likely from the $25 billion they’ve already been promised for development of environmentally friendly cars.

    In an ideal world this wouldn’t happen. But in an ideal world, these men would also be hung with ropes fashioned from the millions they “earned” when times were flush. GM, which I think is one of the worst run companies in the world, should be let to go bankrupt. Ford, I’m not so sure. And Chrysler, absolutely.

    It won’t happen. So, my advice? Buy F and GM right now while they’re cheap, and sell on the rally when they get their bailout loot. It’s a gamble…but then again, not really.


    Iraqi Cabinet Approves U.S. Withdrawal Plan

    Sunday, November 16, 2008

    It goes to their parliament now, but the agreement was approved almost unanimously by the cabinet and that, apparently, bodes well for parliamentary approval. If passed, all American troops will be out by the end of 2011. From the New York Times:

    The draft approved Sunday requires coalition forces to withdraw from Iraqi cities and towns by the summer of 2009 and from the country by the end of 2011. An earlier version had language giving some flexibility to that deadline, with both sides discussing timetables and timelines for withdrawal, but the Iraqis managed to have the deadline set in stone, a significant negotiating victory.

    So is this surrender? Cause it smells like victory to me. I hope the neocons will accept it as such and stop trying to dishonor the work of our Armed Services by claiming otherwise. It’s disgraceful to belittle the progress they’ve made – enough that our presence is no longer thought necessary – by insisting that we haven’t won.* We should plan a big victory parade for our troops in 2011.

    As for the future of Iraq, well, call me cynical, but I think there’s a lot more blood to be shed. I can’t pretend to know how it will turn out, especially Iran-wise, with all of their trouble, and the world in economic turmoil, but to me, it seems the likeliest conclusion that after a civil war a Shia strongman will rise and take Saddam-like control of the country (excluding the Kurds). In that event, we will actually be worse off than we were before the war.

    I just hope that Bush and company will face punishment for their crimes. For the tens of thousands of lives lost and for the tens of thousands of wounded and for the millions who have lost their homes. As we unwind all of the foul corruption and dishonor of the Bush administration, we must make sure that those who are most responsible pay the heaviest price.

    *Btw, I definitely want Joe Lieberman booted from his committee chair. Don’t care if he caucuses with the Dems or not, I want his downfall. The day he loses his Senate seat, I will drink a toast to his failure.