Friday, May 01, 2009

In Which I Am Annoyed To All Hell

Things that annoy me today:
  • This article in Politico -- "Dems Struggle with Gitmo Politics" -- seems to have Republicans pressing Democrats on the issue like it's a winning strategy in Gotcha! politics. I guess we're supposed to forget that this is yet another mess made by Bush Co. which the Dems must now clean up and for which there are now, regrettably, no good options left. Bush made Gitmo a symbolic pothole in America's moral high road and fucked around with the detainees until they were untriable in any court of law. So now Republicans want to point and laugh as Democrats try to figure out what to do with this fubar'd situation? Unreal.
  • I remember when The Republicans of Olde thought individual rights were important. Now they're only important when they don't clash with the goals of the christianists. In case folks haven't noticed, the christianists (aka "social conservatives") seem to have an unending obsession with policies they think are best for the cultural collective and have very little regard for the rights of any one person. Opposition to R v W, women's rights, civil rights, gay marriage, etc, have all been argued on the basis of their threat to society at large. And now with the pending David Souter retirement I am forced to listen non-stop to tv pundits reporting that conservatives were "duped" into appointing a liberal. Color me annoyed. Doesn't it seem like Souter's focus on the rights of the individual might be considered more conservative than the conservatives obsession with preserving their ideal cultural collective?
  • People who don't support a level playing field. John Cole's post titled "Moral Hazard is for the Little People" says it all. And Dick Durbin is spot on:
Durbin said on the Senate floor that in negotiations, the banking industry argued that restructuring primary home loans—secondary home loans and luxury loans for items like yachts can already be restructured by a bankruptcy judge—would create a moral hazard in this country.

“Senator, you don’t understand the moral hazard here,” Durbin paraphrased the banking argument. “People have to be held responsible for their wrongdoing. If you make a mistake, darn it, you’ve got to pay the price. that’s what America is all about.”

“Really, Mr. Banker on wall street? that’s what America is all about?” he railed.

“What price did wall street pay for their miserable decisions, creating rotten portfolios, destroying the credit of America and its businesses?” Durbin said of the $700 billion Wall Street bailout Congress passed, and Durbin supported in the waning days of the Bush administration. “Oh, (the bankers) paid a pretty heavy price. Hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayers’ money sent to them to bail them out and put them back in business, even to fund executive bonuses for those guilty of mismanagement. Moral hazard, huh? How can they argue that with a straight face? They do.”

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