Thursday, March 12, 2009

Dan's Midweek Wrap Up


$250,000 not pictured but that's Kirk on one end and Hicks on the other

Who is vetting nominees for Obama? I think that nobody is.
Ron Kirk has been nominated to be the US Trade Representative. Ron Kirk is a former mayor of Dallas. While Kirk was mayor, billionaire Tom Hicks was trying to get the Dallas city council to force taxpayers to pay for most of his new basketball arena. First Hicks put Kirk’s wife, Matrice, into a lucrative paying board of directors job at his radio station conglomerate (later to become Clear Channel). Nine months later she quit when Hicks actually brought business before the council. She left with stock options worth a quarter of a million dollars. The arena funding passed easily despite a great deal of grassroots opposition. When Hicks was questioned about his reason for putting a woman with no broadcast experience on his board, he said he chose her because the Kirks were struggling financially. Later he said he chose her because she was a black female and he needed some diversity on the board.
You will remember Tom Hicks as the owner of the Texas Rangers baseball team. Before Bush became governor of Texas, Hicks sold him 12% of the Rangers for $500,000 (which almost certainly was paid to Bush by the bin Laden family). After the new Ranger stadium was built Bush cashed out his stock for $16 million. Hicks likes to help politicians and their families. Later, as governor, Bush gave a no-bid contract to one of Hicks companies to manage some state pension funds. Bush just retired to a new home in the extremely upscale Preston Hollow area of Dallas and his next door neighbor is... Tom Hicks.
Grampy McCain is going nuts over earmarks in the last budget bill. He’s trying to score points against Obama, but in reality the earmarks are almost evenly split between democrats and republicans. Grampy doesn’t mention that. Earmarks are bad because they are mostly done in darkness. They have long been the way that your local representative brings home the bacon to his/her own district. If the money goes to build a new recreation center in my area, they are a wonderful thing. If they build a recreation center in your neighborhood they are wasteful pork. The fact is that most earmarks go toward useful projects in the home districts. Opponents highlight the crazy earmarks, but most of them are OK.
The stock market can’t seem to find a bottom. Face it, the market is but a gigantic gambling parlor. For years our bets paid off big every month. Now we are whining when we hit an extended losing streak. You can’t complain when you go to the track and your horse doesn’t even show. If stocks more closely followed the actual value of the company you would not see these insanely wild market fluctuations. Only Ponzi could look at a market approaching 16,000 and think it was OK.
Like the markets, the Republican Party cannot seem to find a bottom [unless you mean Lindsey Graham or David Dreier]. They are giving up on trying to torpedo every single recovery plan that Obama has put forward. The praying for America to fail hasn’t helped them. They are floundering around without any leadership so Rahm Emanuel appointed Limbaugh to head them. That worked out well for Democrats and for Limbaugh, not so much for Republicans. Jindal flopped. Steele is not exactly working out. John Boehner doubled down on his bronzer but that didn’t help. Newt is trying to make a leadership comeback but nobody is following. One GOP Rep has said that Republicans' main goal was to reduce the public approval of Obama and the congressional democrats. That’s nice. Not to help stop job hemorrhaging or bank failures or business closings, but to stop Democrats from being liked. Prediction: The market will reach its bottom way ahead of the GOP. The only ideas that the opposition has offered to date are just the same ones that we got over the past eight years from Bush. That didn’t work out so well.
The latest GOP talking point to go out was that Obama was trying to do too much at one time. Gosh fellas, thanks for your concern. All media outlets quickly picked up the story like it was real. The truth is that Obama has tons of political capital right now and he is spending it like crazy. He is going to get dozens of Democratic agenda favorites passed and the GOP is finding themselves to be impotent. Republicans really want to stop health care reform and energy reform and regulation enforcement, but they know that if they go before the voters in 2010 as the party that stopped health care, they will get their balls cut off. It’s not a good time to be Republican. Hang in there guys. If Democrats excel at anything, it is fucking up a good deal.


This morning Steele said that abortion should be a woman’s choice. After being pounced on by the christian Taliban, Steele changed his mind and said that women have no such rights. Christian Taliban leader, Tony Perkins said that Steele had the GOP on it’s way to becoming a big ‘empty’ tent. Business leaders are abandoning the party. There is no sense in trying to bribe the GOP if they have no power. Moderate Republicans have been marginalized and forced out of the GOP hierarchy. All that is left is the hard core right, the folks who still love Bush.
Steele is in bad, bad shape. The only people left in the party seem to be those who would consider lynching Steele to be good Saturday entertainment.

But don't just take our word for it. Here's the noise coming from the right:

Mike Huckabee: "Comments attributed to Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele are very troubling and despite his clarification today the party stands to lose many of its members and a great deal of its support in the trenches of grassroots politics. Since 1980, our party has been steadfast and principled in believing in the dignity and worth of every human life. We have supported a Constitutional amendment to protect life and the party has taken the position that no one individual has the supreme right to own another person in totality including the right to take that life. For Chairman Steele to even infer that taking a life is totally left up to the individual is not only a reversal of Republican policy and principle, but it's a violation of the most basic of human rights--the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. His statement today helps, but doesn't explain why he would ever say what he did in the first place."

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At 8:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

George W. Bush got a sweetheart loan from his father's banking buddies in Midland Texas to purchase his share of the Texas Rangers. Against the advice of his attorneys he sold stock from his failed oil company Harkin to pay back the loan. Shortly thereafter Harkin reported massive losses. Bush was investigated for insider trading but was cleared by Republican appointees put in their positions by his Father.

(Note: One of the group of investors that came to Harkin's rescue the the Bank of Commerce and Credit International)

Bush's $600,000 investment turned into over $14 million when the Rangers were sold. That new infusion of cash allowed Bush to prepare for his run for governor of Texas.


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