19 Feb 2009

Give Us This Day, Our Daily Bread

Times are getting tougher for what the NYTimes is calling “the next layer: “Once a crutch for the most needy, food pantries have responded to the deepening recession by opening their doors to what one pantry organizer described as “the next layer of people,” a rapidly expanding group of child-care workers, nurse’s aides, real estate agents and secretaries who are facing a financial crisis for the first time.

19 Feb 2009

UBS Pays $780M For Aiding Tax Cheats: Where’s Phil Gramm?

Somewhere this morning, tax cheat bazillionaires are clenching: The Justice Department charged that over several years UBS provided Swiss bank accounts to approximately 20,000 U.S. clients with assets of about $20 billion. About 17,000 of those clients concealed their identities and the existence of their UBS accounts from the IRS, the Justice Department alleged….

19 Feb 2009

Cocktails With Obama? Last Night’s Guest List Shows Focus On EFCA

As Ben Smith reports, President Obama invited several folks over for a White House cocktail soiree yesterday evening.

I’m told by a source that Valerie Jarrett’s office organized the get-together. On the menu?  From the guest list, it sure looks like the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) was on the White House front burner.

18 Feb 2009

“There Has To be Some Justice For Main Street.”

The folks at Brave New Films talked to Rep. Marcy Kaptur and economist Dean Baker about the TARP, Wall Street and regular folks. As Rep. Kaptur said, somewhere in the economic mess, “there has to be some justice for Main Street.”

18 Feb 2009

Bucking The Tide: An Al-Marri Surprise

We know the backstory: secrecy and legally incompetent boobery masking wholesale gutting of the rule of law. But something in Jane Mayer’s most recent reporting on the al-Marri case made me pause: Unlike the staff at Abu Ghraib, the brig staff had been trained for the job. Their mission, as they saw it, was to run a safe, professional, and humane prison, regardless of who was held there….

17 Feb 2009

Is Someone Trying To Sell A Wall Street Whopper?

Have it your way, with some excess at the top?   ZP Heller has more…

17 Feb 2009

OPR Report: Will It Undercut Cheney’s Legal Reliance Excuses?

Let’s take a closer look at the latest round of reporting on the as-yet-still-not-released OPR report on legal reasoning (or lack thereof) at the Bush/Cheney OLC. On the heels of Isikoff’s Saturday leakfest, Newsweek coughs up with some intriguing tidbits

17 Feb 2009

Inside The Economic Meltdown

This evening, PBS’ Frontline will air a documentary on the economic meltdown. The previews are blunt, painful, and a needed step in parsing self-serving spin from ugly realities.

From the advance description: …Paulson pushed Lehman’s CEO Dick Fuld to find a buyer for his ailing company. But no company would buy Lehman unless the government offered a deal similar to the one Bear Stearns had received. Paulson refused, and Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy. FRONTLINE then chronicles the disaster that followed. Within 24 hours, the stock market crashed, and credit markets around the world froze. “We’re no longer talking about mortgages,” says economist Gertler. “We’re talking about car loans, loans to small businesses, commercial paper borrowing by large banks. This is like a disease spreading.”

17 Feb 2009

Trouble At The Dick And George Corral?

So much for that message discipline and failure to leak tour, Karl. Dickie Boy is peeved: In the waning days of the Bush administration, Vice President Dick Cheney launched a last-ditch campaign to persuade his boss to pardon Lewis (Scooter) Libby – and was furious when President George W. Bush wouldn’t budge.

It is ON, beyotches.