Wednesday Open Thread

And when you lose control

You’ll reap the harvest you have sown

–Pink Floyd

44 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. DavidThi808 says:

    Put this in the category of “the paranoid are always the first to suspect” – Obama Campaign Backers and Bundlers Rewarded With Green Grants and Loans

    In the 1705 government-backed-loan program, for example, $16.4 billion of the $20.5 billion in loans granted as of Sept. 15 went to companies either run by or primarily owned by Obama financial backers-individuals who were bundlers, members of Obama’s National Finance Committee, or large donors to the Democratic Party.

    Instead, the department’s loan and grant programs are run by partisans who were responsible for raising money during the Obama campaign from the same people who later came to seek government loans and grants.

    These programs might be the greatest-and most expensive-example of crony capitalism in American history. Tens of billions of dollars went to firms controlled or owned by fundraisers, bundlers, and political allies, many of whom-surprise!-are now raising money for Obama again.

    If true, this isn’t the legal soft corruption that pervades Washington, it’s raw payola and should (but probably won’t) lead to jail terms.

    • dwyer says:

      Did these companies also contribute to McCain???

    • Sir Robin says:

      Frankly, I’m not looking for a way to make him right.

    • Ralphie says:

      You now agree with Libertad.

      You’ve fallen farther than Paterno.

    • ajb says:

      that investors in green energy supported Democrats in 2008? If so, I don’t think that comes as any surprise, does it? Republicans have always tried to strip green energy of subsidies and give them to oil companies. Democrats do the opposite.

      • Venture capitalists have money and are used to making investments; bundling for political campaigns seems to be a common pastime for some of them.  And as ajb notes, investors in green energy will be largely Democratic leaning because Republicans are more interested in O&G subsidies than in green energy.

        Most of these programs went through Bush era appointees a la Solyndra (initial review under Bush, revised and finalized under Obama).

        You complain about education and then fall for the correlation == causation logical fallacy.

        • dukeco1 says:

          to remember, as well, that it is commonplace for deals and programs to carry from one administration to another. These things happen without a lot of hands on supervision from the electeds and it is not easy to put the brakes on a big government/corporate deal like this, even if you are aware of a potential problem.

          I don’t think many presidents spend much time on details. They have to rely on other humans and we ALL make mistakes. Things get momentum and happen and drawing corelations like Libertads is a fools’ errand

          I don’t know if this law has been previously stated, but until corrected, I call it : Dukes’ First Law of Deals.

          “The probability that a deal will get done is directly proportional to the number of paychecks that will be issued at the culmination of the deal.”

    • VanDammer says:

      Schweizer is peddling his book (that comes out today) so you’re just passing along his rip & read promo — thanks for shilling.   Have you read any of Schweizer’s stuff?  Have you read any of his odious laudatory tomes of Reagan or the Bush dynasty.  Likely no …

      Holding Schweizer up as any kind of neutral judge on how D.C. plays is folly.  His fellowship at a reknowned Conserva/Libertarian public policy institute has him working closely with the likes of Ed Meese, George Shultz, Rumsfeld, Condi & others.  

      Schweizer isn’t just chummy with asshole Breitbart, he is editor-in-chief of one of Brietfart’s hit blogs.  There’s something telling about this guy when he helps to aid & abet one of the most notorious bottom-feeding hitmen for the Repug thugs.

      Hey I’m all for shining a light on the graft & corruption & dirty ways endemic of those in power but Schweizer is all about tagging the Dems rather than tracing this cronyism back thru his benefactors past.  

      Sad thing is that the insider trading bills sitting in our Congress don’t have a snowballs chance and the will of the people be damned.          

      • DavidThi808 says:

        Yes the author is a conservative and works at the Hoover Institution. But he goes after members of both parties for the soft corruption calling our Boehner among others.

        And while I can understand most people at the top of green energy funds being liberals, it’s a bit beyond coincidence that ¾ were major fundraisers/bundlers for Obama.

        The fact that a conservative says something does not instantly make it wrong.

        • Aristotle says:

          to show why this conservative can be dismissed. If you disagree, you should say what makes him right, or why his track record shouldn’t be held against him.

          • DavidThi808 says:

            Brietbart is a complete tool but he was right about Weiner’s Weiner’s photo. What matters is if the facts he raises are true.

            If the Bush administration had done the we’d be all over them. We should give Obama a pass because he’s a dem.

            • sxp151 says:

              I know you can’t respond except by using strawman bullshit so you can pretend to win, so let’s just say (as Steve Harvey might) that this is for the readers, not for you.

              In the original article the author admits that there’s nothing too surprising about any of this since green energy companies would tend to be run by liberals who would probably support Democrats anyway. And then at no point does he give any evidence to suggest there’s anything else to this. There’s a lot of namecalling, which is usually good evidence that the author doesn’t have that strong a case, and there are a few instances of “look at this number which you have no context for, isn’t it scary?”.

              But really it’s an article from an extreme right-winger trying to sell a book who is constantly telling me “nudge nudge wink wink say no more.” Yeah, I see what you’re trying to say, but I don’t think you’re saying it.

              His credibility matters because whether this is all innocuous or devious depends on his word, since he gives pretty much no objective evidence and is slanting things to support his agenda and sell his book.

              OH DID I MENTION HE HAS A BOOK the article only mentioned it 10^9 times.

              • DavidThi808 says:

                And mostly Obama bundlers getting federal dollars. That’s the key point – that most of the money went to companies owned by/run by people who raised large amounts of money for Obama. That’s a small subset of liberal business owners in green energy (or any segment).

                The point remains if there was a story like this about the Bush administration you would be trumpeting it all over the place.

            • Aristotle says:

              If you’re going to refer to a trash example of why someone shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand, then there’s really no getting through to you.

              All I can say is, if someone has a record of showing facts that only helps their cause, as opposed to the cause of the truth, that means that they’re liars. And you don’t listen to liars, even when they do tell the truth.

        • MADCO says:

          The only surprise s it wasn’t 100%.i

          • sxp151 says:

            The fact that it was only 75% is evidence of Obama’s evil black Muslim deviousness. A naive crook would steal everything, an expert black crook would steal only 3/4 to throw attention off himself.

            I have a similar explanation for every new aspect of this story that may arise.

  2. Pita says:

    I admit I’m no lawyer and some of the finer points often escape my understanding but today’s column by Ruth Marcus caused a second read.

    The court’s decision to hear the health-care cases came with a built-in escape hatch.

    The justices ordered arguments on an obscure but important procedural matter: Does the challenge to the requirement that individuals purchase health insurance come too early, not only before the law has taken effect but before any individual has had to pay the penalty for failing to obtain coverage?

    I have a number of questions but the first one that came to mind – is this what opposing attorney’s will be arguing for 5 1/2 hours?

  3. Sir Robin says:

    A government crackdown on improper payments in federal programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, cut wasteful payments by $17.6 billion in 2011, the Office of Management and Budget reported Tuesday.

    The administration’s Campaign to Cut Waste, which was launched almost two years ago, saved $7 billion in Medicare fee-for-service payment errors between 2010 and 2011, according to the OMB. Waste reduction efforts decreased Medicaid payment error rates between 2009 and 2010 for a savings of $4 billion, The Hill reported.

    Additionally, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, announced the launch of new demonstration programs that target Medicare and Medicaid fraud, waste and abuse. They will be overseen by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

  4. Diogenesdemar says:

    . . . hmmmmmm, ok, . . . maybe not?

    Medical Nuances Drove ‘No’ Vote in Mississippi

    The amendment was rejected by 58 percent of voters in staunchly anti-abortion Mississippi, largely on fears like Mrs. Breland’s that hinged on subtleties of medical science.

    The same issues could well foreshadow trouble ahead for similar “personhood” initiatives now being planned in other states by organizers from Colorado. In Mississippi, concerns that the measure would empower the government to intrude in intimate medical decisions far afield from abortion – involving not just infertility, but also birth control, potentially deadly ectopic pregnancies and the treatment of pregnant women with cancer – were decisive in its defeat.

    “We don’t need people coming down from Colorado to try to use us as a political experiment,” said Stan Flint, a lobbyist here in Jackson with the Southern Strategy Group, a public affairs firm that fought the initiative. “The people of Mississippi told them to go back where they came from.”

    Looked down upon by Mississippi??  Ouch!!

    I can’t help but wonder if they wouldn’t love us mountain folk a little more if we were, say, 45th in the nation in education funding?  (Who needs stinking education when you’ve got the certainty of right-wing dogma?)

  5. Diogenesdemar says:

    gets to be the frontrunner in the GOP.

    Gingrich Welcomes Scrutiny of Business Past

    The report from Bloomberg News, which said Mr. Gingrich received at least $1.6 million, is signifcantly higher than previous estimates of Mr. Gingrich’s compensation for what he has described as his work as “a historian” for the troubled mortgage lender. And it raises questions that could be tricky as he seeks to capitalize on his newfound position in the presidential race.

    There are few institutions more reviled by the Republican faithful than Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the government-owned mortgage companies. Nearly all the Republican candidates blame the lenders for the foreclosure crisis and claim that Democrats used them for experiments in social engineering that encouraged people to buy houses they could not afford.


    1.6 Million??  Historian??

    “Welcomes”??  You’ve got to love a headline writer with a sense of humor.

    So long Newt, . . . we already knew ya . . .

  6. ClubTwitty says:

    “A cop asked me if I was responding to an emergency situation, and I said no,” Garcia says. “He asked me why I was honking, and I said I was supporting Occupy Denver. He told me there’s a city ordinance against honking outside of an emergency situation and then stepped aside to search my car and trunk.”

    Hmmm.. Honking and waving to show support?  Where have I heard of that before?

    Colorado Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Hickenlooper waves at motorists as he and supporters do a honk and wave in Denver, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010.

    Alright for me but not for thee?

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