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By Varlam Shalamov; John Glad (Translator)

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Tag: Congress

Paulson

Paulson and Bernanke Grilled on the Bailout

On Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke faced a lineup of vexed, perplexed and otherwise agitated members of Congress, including Reps. Barney Frank, Ron Paul and Nydia Velazquez, all eager to ask some serious questions about the infamous bailout.

Posted on Nov 18, 2008 READ MORE


Joe Lieberman
newsweek.com

Lieberman to Keep Homeland Security Post

After weeks of deliberation about former Democrat-turned-independent Sen. Joe Lieberman, congressional leaders from his former party came to some conclusions Tuesday about his political future.

Posted on Nov 18, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / SteelCityHobbies

Detroit Bailout Looks Unlikely

The chief executives of the Big Three American car companies head to Washington Tuesday along with the head of the United Auto Workers to beg Congress for a bailout that seems less and less probable.

Posted on Nov 18, 2008 READ MORE


Conservative Identity Crisis

There is a second transition under way over which President-elect Barack Obama has no control—the transition of conservatives to minority status. How they do this will have a powerful impact on the new presidency.

Posted on Nov 18, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / Brave New Films

A Wal-Mart Christmas for a Wal-Mart Country

The giant discounter is the only store where hard-squeezed consumers can afford to buy anything, and so it has kept posting sales gains amid the retail bloodbath.

Posted on Nov 18, 2008 READ MORE


Knowing When to Walk Away

Bush reportedly suggested to Obama he might support an economic stimulus package and aid to struggling automakers if Democrats drop their opposition to a free-trade agreement with Colombia. Strange behavior? Yes and no.

Posted on Nov 14, 2008 READ MORE



One More Dem in the Senate?

As Alaska election officials continue to count ballots, Democrat Mark Begich has gone from roughly 3,000 votes down to a lead of about 800. His rival, convicted felon and “series of tubes” prophet Sen. Ted Stevens, will likely be expelled from the U.S. Senate if he somehow wins.

Posted on Nov 13, 2008 READ MORE



Collage: Meutia Chaerani / Indradi Soemardjan and Shealah Craighead / White House

Paulson Revises Bailout Strategy

“I will never apologize for changing a strategy or an approach if the facts change,” explained Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who has retreated from his original plan of buying up near-worthless mortgage securities with taxpayer funds. Instead, Paulson will continue to pump money into troubled banks in exchange for equity, a scheme that has proved more expeditious and popular.

Posted on Nov 12, 2008 READ MORE



speaker.gov

‘Whatever Nancy Wants, Nancy Gets’

Nancy Pelosi isn’t as showy as some of her predecessors, but according to a profile in the Politico, the most powerful woman in American political history is firmly in control of her domain. Tom “the Hammer” DeLay says she is “the most powerful speaker in a generation—she will be able to do anything she wants.” As one anonymous lawmaker put it, “Whatever Nancy wants, Nancy gets.”

Posted on Nov 12, 2008 READ MORE


The Danger in Timidity

If Reagan had the voters’ permission to move away from strategies associated with liberalism, Obama has sanction to move away from conservative policies. And Reagan offers another lesson: His first moves were bold, and Obama should not fear following his example.

Posted on Nov 11, 2008 READ MORE


Paulson in negotiations
AP photo / Lauren Victoria Burke

Surprise! Paulson Sneaked $150B Bank ‘Windfall’ Into Bailout

Perhaps we should be more surprised than we are by the news that Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and his DOT crew managed to sneak a handful of sentences into the approved bailout bill that amounted to a $150-billion “quiet windfall” for American banks, as The Washington Post put it.

Posted on Nov 10, 2008 READ MORE



U.S. Navy / Petty Officer 3rd Class Josue L. Escobosa

Military Spending ‘Not Sustainable’

The Defense Business Board, an official oversight body appointed by the secretary of defense, has warned the president-elect that the Pentagon’s bloated budget ($512 billion this year, not including war costs) is “not sustainable.” An unprecedented spending spree since 9/11 has run head-on into a financial meltdown, and Barack Obama is now stuck in the middle.

Posted on Nov 10, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / Lieberman 2006

Joe Klein on the ‘Flagrantly Dreadful’ Joe Lieberman

Time’s political sage offers the thorniest of olive branches to the Connecticut senator, who, he writes, “has been a flagrantly dreadful public figure these past two years.”

Posted on Nov 7, 2008 READ MORE


Only One Good Path for the Democrats: Go Big

Obama and the rest of the party should retire the Innocent Bystander Fable—the myth about being powerless onlookers.

Posted on Nov 6, 2008 READ MORE


The Ghost in Obama’s White House

Republicans will try to tie memories of Jimmy Carter to the new Democratic president by conjuring up disturbing visions of policy failure and “malaise.”

Posted on Nov 6, 2008 READ MORE


A New Era of Hope

With Obama’s victory, it’s time to hope that the era of racial backlash and wedge politics is over. Time to imagine that the patriotism of dissenters will no longer be questioned and that the world will no longer be divided between “values voters” and those without a moral compass.

Posted on Nov 4, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Al Grillo

Homeland Security Pays Dividends for Alaska

When Sarah Palin brags about the self-reliance of her state, she doesn’t mention the mobile command communications vehicle, bought with federal dollars to help keep her home town of 7,028 safe from terrorism. Thanks in part to an anti-terrorism bonanza, Alaska is one of the greatest per-capita beneficiaries of federal funding among the 50 states.

Posted on Oct 31, 2008 READ MORE


Stevens’ Corruption Was About the Little Things

For a steel sculpture of migrating salmon, amongst other goodies, Ted Stevens—one of the lions of the Senate—was willing to forfeit the kingdom.

Posted on Oct 30, 2008 READ MORE


Election Protection

Election Day approaches, and with it a test of our election system’s integrity. Who will be allowed to vote; who will be barred?

Posted on Oct 29, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / Svadilfari

Dems Tap Credit for Congressional Campaigns

Not everyone is feeling the credit crunch: The DNC is borrowing $10 million to spend on Senate and House races. Encouraged by polls, the party wants to win as many seats as possible before the public stops hating on the GOP.

Posted on Oct 28, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Madalyn Ruggiero

‘Joe the Plumber’ in 2010?

Life took an unexpected turn for Joe Wurzelbacher, or “Joe the Plumber,” when he became a kind of human talking point for John McCain and Barack Obama during their last debate, and now Wurzelbacher has apparently taken a shine to politics.

Posted on Oct 25, 2008 READ MORE


Bachmann

Rep. Michelle Bachmann’s Apology Fail

Minnesota Rep. Michelle Bachmann apparently understood that she needed to do a little spin control following her jaw-dropping flirtation with McCarthyism on “Hardball” last week, but she apparently didn’t feel the need to apologize to anyone, judging by her latest campaign spot.

Posted on Oct 25, 2008 READ MORE


McCain’s Socialist Delusion

Wherever John McCain appears on the stump in these waning days of the presidential campaign, he is always accompanied by his imaginary friend “Joe the Plumber,” but it is the specter of Karl Marx that lurks just offstage.

Posted on Oct 22, 2008 READ MORE



msnbc.com

Rep.‘s ‘Anti-American’ Comments Could Cost Her Re-Election

Rep. Michelle Bachmann was cakewalking to re-election in her Republican-leaning Minnesota district until she told Chris Matthews the media should investigate anti-Americanism in Congress. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee calls that a “$1 million mistake.”

Posted on Oct 21, 2008 READ MORE


How to Win Votes and Influence People

Conservatives fear a “period of unchecked left-wing ascendancy” should Barack Obama and the Democrats sweep in November, but the voters care more about competent government than ideology.

Posted on Oct 20, 2008 READ MORE



Federal Reserve

Fed Chief Wants More Stimulation

Ben Bernanke doesn’t really care if you call it a recession or, in his words, “a very serious slowdown in the economy.” Whatever it is, the chairman of the Federal Reserve thinks a new stimulus package is needed to get those terrified Americans dipping into their mattresses and buying things again.

Posted on Oct 20, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Henny Ray Abrams

The Idiots Who Rule America

Our oligarchic class is incompetent at governing, managing the economy, coping with natural disasters, educating our young, handling foreign affairs, providing basic services like health care and safeguarding individual rights. They have no concept, thanks to the educations they have received, of the common good.

Posted on Oct 20, 2008 READ MORE


The GOP Identity Crisis

Can any Republican candidate claim with a straight face to represent the party of small government? For that matter, can any Republican candidate plausibly explain what the party is supposed to stand for these days?

Posted on Oct 13, 2008 READ MORE


It’s Henry Paulson’s Move

Is Henry Paulson a crony communist or a businessman? The answer could be the difference between economic disaster and recovery.

Posted on Oct 10, 2008 READ MORE



Citizens Against Government Waste, and for McCain

During the first presidential debate, John McCain gave a high-profile shout-out: “I suggest that people go up on the Web site of Citizens Against Government Waste, and they’ll look at those projects.” The group quickly returned the favor—its political action committee is calling McCain a “taxpayer hero” in TV ads airing over the next two weeks in Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida.

Posted on Oct 9, 2008 READ MORE



White House / Shealah Craighead

Is Paulson Going Bank Shopping?

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, with much prodding from Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer, is thinking about using some of that $700 billion to buy ownership stakes in shaky banks. The scheme would ostensibly give taxpayers a share in the fortunes of the bailed-out institutions.

Posted on Oct 9, 2008 READ MORE



starwoodhotels.com

AIG Execs Enjoy Sun and Fun on Your Dime

What’s $85 billion if you don’t get to spend it? Just days after taxpayers saved AIG from ruin, executives of the insurance giant spent $440,000 pampering themselves at the exclusive St. Regis resort in Monarch Beach, Calif.

Posted on Oct 8, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Susan Walsh

Dennis Kucinich on the Democrats’ Bailout Betrayal

The passing of the $850-billion bailout pulled the plug on the New Deal. The Great Society is now gasping for air, mortally wounded, coughing up blood. It will not recover. It was murdered by the Democratic Party.

Posted on Oct 5, 2008 READ MORE


Pelosi Happy, With Pen
The New York Times / Doug Mills

The Bailout: Take Two

On Friday the House approved, after initially rejecting, the $700-billion bailout package for the financial industry in what is likely to be the most expensive government intervention in the nation’s history. This, of course, only slightly surpasses another notable “government intervention”—the nearly $600 billion spent in the war in Iraq.

Posted on Oct 3, 2008 READ MORE


Saying ‘No Deal’ to This New Deal

The marriage of American capitalism and democracy has always been a Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee affair—stormy and erratic since its hasty wedding. But during the debate over a Wall Street bailout this week, we watched that matrimonial knot unwind into a tangled tale of terror.

Posted on Oct 2, 2008 READ MORE


A Welcome Pause Before the Bailing Starts

We all owe a debt of thanks to the skeptics who refused to be steamrollered by the Bush administration’s $700-billion financial bailout plan until we at least had some understanding of what we were doing and why.

Posted on Oct 2, 2008 READ MORE



npr.org

Evangelical Leader Goes All In For McCain

And to think that anyone thought James Dobson would sit out this presidential race. The Christian right leader and his advocacy group, Focus on the Family Action, are planning a multistate strategy to help elect McCain, and to prevent Democratic gains in Congress while they’re at it.

Posted on Oct 2, 2008 READ MORE


Making the Bailout Less Toxic

The initial failure to pass bailout legislation reflected a political system as bereft of confidence as the financial markets.

Posted on Oct 1, 2008 READ MORE



White House / Susan Sterner

Senate Fattens Up Bailout Package

The House couldn’t swallow the $700-billion bailout proposal, so the Senate added about $100 billion of incentives—mostly in the form of tax cuts. The Senate will vote on the proposal tonight and the House could decide as early as Friday whether $700 billion is too much, but $800 billion is just about right.

Posted on Oct 1, 2008 READ MORE


Blame Game

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Posted on Sep 30, 2008 READ MORE


McCain Is Guilty Enough

Americans are reluctant to make John McCain pay for George W. Bush’s sins, but with so many crises on so many fronts, the country can’t afford to cut him any slack.

Posted on Sep 30, 2008 READ MORE



montage: White House / Wikimedia Commons

Robert Scheer on the Bailout Bomb

The Dow dropped more than 777 points on the news that the House had voted down the $700-billion bailout proposal, so why does our editor think it’s “a great moment for American democracy”?

Posted on Sep 29, 2008 READ MORE



White House / Eric Draper

House Defies Leadership, Rejects Bailout

When it came to a showdown in the House, the $700-billion bailout scheme was considered to be as toxic as the securities it was supposed to save us from. Democrats and Republicans broke ranks Monday to vote down the measure, 228-205, against the wishes of both parties’ leaders.

Posted on Sep 29, 2008 READ MORE


Pentagon
flickr.com/mindfrieze

The Bailout vs. the Defense Budget

There has been much moaning, air-sucking and outrage about the U.S. government’s $700-billion bailout deal, but in fact we dole out similar amounts of money every year in the form of payoffs to the armed services, the military-industrial complex, and powerful senators and representatives allied with the Pentagon.

Posted on Sep 28, 2008 READ MORE


Gingrich
abcnews.go.com

Gingrich: Bailout Plan ‘Un-American’

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson certainly has his Democratic detractors, but they aren’t the only ones who have some serious doubts about his controversial $700-billion bailout plan. In an appearance on ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopolous” on Sunday, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich blasted Paulson’s plan, calling it “un-American” and even opining that Paulson should have resigned.

Posted on Sep 28, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Chip Somodevilla, pool

A Calm Obama Weathers a Storm of Sarcasm

Was he too calm? Did he pull his punches in an effort to look presidential? Not really. The viewers got a clear choice: a reasoned and reasonable Obama versus an old-fashioned Cold Warrior who would keep us in Iraq endlessly and extend the boundaries we must defend to Georgia and Ukraine.

Posted on Sep 26, 2008 READ MORE


McCain Has a Meltdown of His Own

John McCain is rapidly making his temperament an inescapable issue in the presidential campaign. Does the nation really want so much drama in the White House?

Posted on Sep 25, 2008 READ MORE


Back in the USSR

In the late 1990s, Washington was in the throes of a deregulatory orgy. Many lampooned Rep. Bernie Sanders’ opposition to the grotesquerie, and his notoriety as the only self-described socialist in Congress. Nobody guessed that in a few years our country would become the United States’ Socialist Republic.

Posted on Sep 25, 2008 READ MORE



Collage: commons.wikimedia.org / senate.gov

Bailout Plan Misses Out on Photo Op

“This meeting is an attempt to move the process forward,” President Bush declared Thursday, but it seems the White House gathering of congressional leaders and presidential candidates might have achieved the opposite effect. Lawmakers had agreed to a bailout outline earlier in the day, but the afternoon’s “political theater,” as Christopher Dodd put it, has raised doubts about the deal.

Posted on Sep 25, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Manuel Balce Ceneta

They Claim the Bailout Is Necessary, but Is It Constitutional?

Wall Street will not trouble its collective consciousness with worry over the Constitution. But this bailout bill is virtually unprecedented in its assumptions and its reach for unchecked power.

Posted on Sep 25, 2008 READ MORE


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