Tag Archives: federal government

Ban the Flights! Which Flights? How?

21 Oct

That guy from Liberia who died from Ebola in Dallas – patient zero, right? Well, so far, there have been only two cases of disease transmittal, and they were both his nurses. The 21 day quarantine is over for everyone else who came into contact with him, and no one else contracted the disease.  There are, therefore, two (2) cases of new-onset Ebola in the US in its history, and everyone is freaking the hell out.  

That’s fewer people than have been married to Rush Limbaugh. 

None of this has stopped craven politicians and their ignorant media enablers from demanding an as-yet undefined travel ban. 

Rob Astorino thinks that the governor of New York can ban international travel? Under what legal authority? Wouldn’t this be something to be decided in Washington, or by the carriers themselves? How would the governor of New York gain access to the passenger manifests that federal agencies maintain? Would the governor demand to place State Police alongside customs or immigration agents at JFK – the only airport in the state with regularly scheduled transatlantic flights? Under what authority? Are we banning an entire Delta flight because one passenger connected in Paris from a west African nation? 

While the WHO declared Nigeria (a west African country) “Ebola-free” yesterday, most of the Ebola outbreak in that part of the world has been in the countries of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. It might surprise you to learn that there are no flights to the US – no flights to JFK – from any of those three countries. The only regularly scheduled flights to the US from that region originate in Ebola-free Senegal, Ghana, and Ebola-free Nigeria. 

As this study by Five Thirty Eight shows, the stricken countries have very few flights through Europe – only 18 weekly flights connect Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone and half of those aren’t operating – so 9 weekly flights that could connect to flights to the US. 

Rob Astorino and other hysteria whores want to ban individual travel between JFK and as-yet-unnamed west African countries, but there’s no state-level authority for that, it wouldn’t work, and it would cost untold money and resources to do the requisite monitoring and banning of flights, and for nothing. If Nigeria can contain its Ebola outbreak, I’m pretty sure the United States  can, too. 

 

The Constitution. Let’s Follow It.

16 Dec

Title X, Subtitle D of the National Defense Authorization Act is neither well-considered, nor do I think it’s Constitutional – even foreigners on American soil are entitled to basic Constitutional protections.

If the government uncovers an al Qaeda cell that plotting some attack on US citizens, it already has myriad tools at its disposal to detain and try the accused.

And that’s the key here – the NDAA doesn’t really call for trial. Indefinite detention and interrogation of people on American soil is a complete abrogation of the Constitution that ought not stand (given an apolitical Supreme Court).  I’m not one to jump on the “police state” bandwagon, because I’ve had the experience of actually spending extended periods of time living in one. But giving the military and police agencies the power to indefinitely detain people based on mere accusations and suspicions brings us ever-closer to an America where people are detained arbitrarily and capriciously based on denunciations and evidence which may not be adequate to convict someone in military or civilian court.

A decade of paranoia and a lousy economy aren’t making anyone any freer, and codifying the indefinite pretrial incarceration of enemy combatants on de jure American soil is contrary to our national interests.  The full text of the provisions in question is after the jump. Continue reading

Confidence

11 Jul

If the federal government doesn’t raise the debt ceiling by August 2nd, it’s feared that the country’s inability to pay its bills and/or debts will plunge the world economy into yet another downward spiral, rivaling the 2008 meltdown. Or possibly something worse than or equal to the Great Depression.  Or perhaps it’s exactly what Dr. Paul ordered.  Consider:

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It’s too early to analyze whether the President’s strategy in “negotiating” with congressional Republicans is yet another awful example of horse-trading in the face of intransigence, or instead some tactical rope-a-dope brilliance.

But in the midst of an economic recovery that isn’t creating any jobs, I get the sense that it’s fundamentally irresponsible for any part of the federal government to further harm everyone’s already shaken confidence – in the economy, in employment, in production or consumption, in government in general. While Eric Cantor stands to personally profit from a federal default, the party to which he belongs is busy yelling about deficit and spending reduction, all of which signifies nothing in the face of President Obama’s proposal for a package that would, in ten years, reduce the deficit by $4 trillion.

Obama has, in fact, infuriated Democrats by proposing cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security entitlement benefits. The deal he’s proposed would seem to be exactly what the Republicans say they want – significant spending cuts, reformation of entitlement programs, and deficit reduction. The reason they won’t go along? The proposed rescission of the Bush/Obama tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. Not for nothing that even the Republican patron saint Reagan raised taxes when necessary, and that tax rates are at historic lows yet doing absolutely nothing to move the economy along, Boehner and his minions are showing that they’re not really about spending cuts and deficit reduction. They’re all about protecting millionaires and billionaires from an incremental rise in their effective income tax rate.

Seriously – they’re willing to plunge the world economy into possible depression in order to ensure that Paris Hilton keeps a bit more of her money. And the recovery? Because the stimulus was weakened in an effort to gain Republican support that never came, it wasn’t enough to do what it should have.

David Frum explains that the Republicans have painted themselves into a corner by invoking the debt ceiling as the “no deal” option. He compares 2011 to 1990, when the Republicans raised the top marginal rate from the high 20s to the low 30s – the act that blew George H.W. Bush’s “no new taxes” lip-reading pledge out of the water.

Had House Republicans succeeded in derailing the 1990 deal, things would have bumped along as before. The deficit would have stayed big, interest rates would have stayed high, growth would probably have remained slow. Unpleasant, but not the end of the world.

But this time there is a hard and dangerous deadline – a deadline imposed by Republicans themselves. By deploying the debt-ceiling weapon, Republicans denied themselves the option of choosing “no deal.” Unlike 1990, this time, there must be a deal, and if Republicans cannot get a deal that their most radical members like, they will have to settle for a deal that their most radical members do not like.

This predicament creates powerful temptations for individual Republicans to defect from the party coalition in hope of gaining for themselves the kind of credit and clout that Newt Gingrich got by defecting in 1990. This time, however, defection carries a heavier price: a real risk of tumbling the country and the world into financial crisis.

Back in January, John Boehner promised it would never come to this. I believed him – and argued vigorously on television against those who predicted that the radicals would carry the day. It looks like I was wrong about that, at least that I have been until now.

Another writer at FrumForum writes:

In fact, a growing faction (and I count a few people I consider friends as members of it) somehow seems to think that a default on the debt would get the nation’s house into order on the basis that it would cut spending. It would cut spending, and cause a worldwide depression at the same time. Republicans need to do a lot more to convince voters that they can govern and a legitimate jobs plan would be a very good start.

The Republican strategy at this point appears to be “destroy the economy so Obama can’t be re-elected”. That may, in fact, happen. And maybe President Bachmann or Romney can fix the economy by further cutting taxes. But it’s doubtful.

If Boehner could get his caucus to back the proposal now before them, it would be historic and may actually help the economy in a palpable way. But the serious Republicans have let the tea party and the idiot Republicans (Bachmannites, Palinists) gain too much influence.

So, Americans wait for Washington to get serious. The world waits for us to get serious. The economy treads water while Washington dithers. The culture in Washington hasn’t changed – with Obama it’s worsened because it takes two to tango, and the Republicans have strategically sidelined themselves.

Mr. Cantor suggests that a more modest $2 trillion in deficit reduction should instead be pursued. Thinking small, this solution would give Republicans everything they want (weakening of the social safety net), with absolutely no pain being felt among the wealthiest Americans. The middle and working class are getting historically shafted in this country while both parties tiptoe around the very wealthy because of the idiotic way in which we fund elections.  When someone calls the GOP on this, they get accused of class warfare; in fact, it’s the Republicans who are engaging in class warfare on behalf of society’s haves.  Calling them out on it is called “truth”, not “class warfare”.

The country is pretty fundamentally broken. One hopes it can be fixed soon, and that serious people begin to treat serious matters seriously. One hopes that Washington can start leading with thoughtful compromise, rather than bumper sticker slogans.  One hopes that the interests of the country and her people someday trump the interests of partisanship or campaign financiers.

Will the Defendants Please Rise

14 Nov

It was announced yesterday that a group of terrorists, including Khalid Sheikh Muhammed, will be brought to Federal Court for the Southern District of New York to stand trial for conspiracy and mass murder.  They will be brought to New York from Guantanamo Bay, where they have been held and even tortured since being apprehended.

The conventional wisdom had been that, because this was an act of war, these people should be tried under military circumstances.  But war crimes have been tried, and are being tried under the auspices of the distinctly civilian Hague military tribunals, with much success.

There is a certain karmic and poetic justice in bringing these people to New York to stand trial before New Yorkers just steps from where two airplanes brought down the World Trade Center, killing 3,000 innocent, average commuters and travelers.

The torture that took place obviously renders a lot of evidence inadmissible in court, but if the government has enough untainted, admissible evidence of these historic crimes, then this is not a concern. Maybe we should stick them in with the general population on Riker’s Island.  If inmates accused of crimes against children get the shit beat out of them with regularity, I wonder what a tough street kid from an outer borough awaiting trial on an armed robbery charge might think of these guys.

I thought what Josh Marshall wrote on the subject was quite persuasive.

This isn’t just a matter of wanting to see punishment. It also vindicates our system of justice and values — and for it all to happen here, the scene of the crime, among the people of this city, not out on some island or in some secret jail.

Listening to the questions at Attorney General Holder’s press conference, I’m hearing again fears about giving the defendants a platform “to air their hateful views.” But really, who is so cowardly as to worry about what these five say? Is our standing and self-respect so brittle?

There’s a widespread belief that many seem to have that calling these people criminals and treating them as such somehow elevates their status and diminishes the fact that al Qaeda has effectively been making war on the United States. I’ve never understood this mindset. The key point in World War II is that at the end of the war the Allies would not deign to accord the leaders of Germany and Japan the respect accorded to defeated armies. They were tried as criminals. Because that is what they were.

Whether it’s fear that our justice system can’t mete justice out to these men, or worry that KSM or the others might mouth off about us at their trial, or concern about future attacks, I am continually surprised that the voices of cowardice and fear manage to convince themselves and others that they speak for courage and determination.

And Congressman Jerry Nadler’s district includes the World Trade Center.  He says,

I thank the Department of Justice and Attorney General Eric Holder for their diligent efforts to bring to justice those who have committed acts of terrorism against the United States. In particular, I applaud the decision to bring those individuals responsible for the attack on the World Trade Center to New York to face trial in our federal courts. New York is not afraid of terrorists, we want to confront them, we want to bring them to justice, and we want to hold them accountable for their despicable actions.

Hatred is Hatred. Violence is Violence. Terrorism is Terrorism.

11 Jun

This morning CBS interviewed the young son of the security guard who was shot yesterday by a lunatic Nazi at the Holocaust Museum, of all places. The little boy was so sweet, wearing glasses that were a bit too big for him, and he was about 7 or 8 years old – a bit young to understand the implications of all of this, but old enough to know something horrible had happened to his daddy. My oldest daughter is the same age.

What von Brunn did was senseless, tragic, and fed by years of hatred. Frankly, what happened shouldn’t have come as any surprise, having read a lot of what this idiot wrote. But seeing that little boy, whose father died yesterday for no reason whatsoever, filled me with rage.

Even if you believe, as von Brunn did, that the Jews were in a conspiracy with the Blacks to keep the white man down – a frankly insane, paranoiac belief to have – what would possess you to bring a rifle to a museum and start shooting random people? This guy was no stranger to the Nazi movement. He was an active, inflammatory spokesman for anti-Semitic causes and fringe “the Fed was set up by the Rothschilds to control world banking for the Jews” ideology. He had once gone to jail for 6 years after an aborted attempt to kidnap Fed members, including Paul Volcker, back in the 80s. Online, he agitates against Jews and Blacks and calls on “Aryans” to take violent action.

If the “only thing we have to fear is young brown men with elaborate names written in squiggles” crowd is serious about wanting to detain people indefinitely, perpetually and in perpetuity without charge, then I suggest we add people like von Brunn to that list. Why isn’t he and his ilk at Guantanamo? They’re as ideologically dangerous and prone to violence as any Qaeda member.

Either that or a “Rockefeller Law” type penal code that puts terrorists who commit, conspire to commit, or incite violence like this away for life without parole. In which case this madman could have continued to spout his BS behind a few feet of concrete and bars.

I’m not advocating for this – I’m just wondering why those who do aren’t treating equal things equally.

There’s another Timothy McVeigh out there right now. He listens to fringe right-wing shit on the internet. He probably watches Glenn Beck, and listens to Limbaugh. He talks to his co-workers about typical conservative talking points, but occasionally freaks out his more mainstream conservative buddies with a slip of the tongue revealing his anti-Semitism or racial animus. They brush it off, figuring he’s just a bit whacked. He attends gun shows and has amassed a veritable arsenal that he tends to like a pet. He owns copies of insane books like the Turner Diaries and figures it’s a handbook for direct citizen action. The current economic crisis may have affected him somehow – lost job, lost house, lost wife – it has only made him more desperate. Someone is to blame, and in his sick mind it’s the Federal Government, international Jewry, the Illuminati, the Council on Foreign Relations, the UN, and other easy targets. He already attends tea parties, but was disappointed they don’t advocate taking up arms. He posts to all sorts of bulletin boards, including Stormfront, Free Republic, Beck’s 9-12 project, and says some whacked out things that range from using direct to indirect language to advocate for immediate violent action.

These people are out there – this guy is out there – and he hates you and everything you stand for. These people are as dangerous as any Qaeda terrorist, even though they didn’t train in Waziristan and don’t make people uncomfortable on that short domestic hop from Baltimore to Orlando.

Why are these serious threats being treated differently?

And when imbeciles like Glenn Beck incites his mouth-breathing viewers to go to war against the US Government, will he be held accountable when someone bombs a federal building? When Rush Limbaugh incites further hatred by questioning Barack Obama’s place of birth and highlighting his race, will he apologize for doing so when some tragedy happens? No. They’ll both wrap themselves around the 1st Amendment rights guaranteed them by a government they hate.

Sotomayor, 9/11, and Lies

26 May

Somebody named Wendy Long penned this and this as part of the right wing insta-smear of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama’s pick to replace Justice David Souter.

Ms. Long seriously does deserve the prize for most inventive and least relevant invocation if 9/11, ever.

But both of the linked-to statements by Ms. Long contain this charge:

“She has an extremely high rate of her decisions being reversed, indicating that she is far more of a liberal activist than even the current liberal activist Supreme Court.”

That’d be the “liberal activist” Roberts Court.

But the facts about Sotomayor’s reversal rate? Does anybody remember facts?

Out of 380 decisions that Sotomayor has penned since being on the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, exactly 6 have gone up to the SCOTUS. Of those, 3 were reversed. That’s three reversals out of 380 decisions. But not every case made it up to SCOTUS – the Supremes pick and choose the cases they hear, and they’re generally chosen to resolve a conflict among the circuits or among circuit judges on some point of law.

Of the cases the Supreme Court selects to hear, 61% of them are reversed. Sotomayor, OTOH, has had 50% of her SCOTUS-picked cases reversed. She’s better than average.

In other words, there is nothing extreme about the rate of Sotomayor decisions being reversed, and anyone who says otherwise has no working knowledge of how the Supreme Court selects cases, and is also full of shit.

Where a 4% Increase is a “Deep Cut” = Crazytown, Nuttyshire

9 Apr

The Doomsday Clock of Aught-Nine

22 Mar

I am not a financial guy. I am not a patient or careful observer of the ins and outs of Wall Street, ancillary entities, or the ostensible regulatory schemes overseeing the markets. My eyes glaze over almost instantaneously at all of it.

To some degree, it seems that every decade needs its doomsday clock. In the 70s, it was an actual doomsday clock, figuring that the Soviets were going to throw some ICBMs our way at any moment, and it was up to Steve Austin to use his bionic powers to save us. In the 80s, it was pretty much the same thing, especially as the communist world began to destabilize and ultimately unravel. The 90s began the runup to the complete disaster we have on our hands today. The 90s started with Saddam Hussein giving the world the finger and raping Kuwait, combined with the new dangers in the wake of the breakdown of a bipolar world. While most people worried more about where Bill Clinton put that cigar, all hell was breaking loose in the middle east, and the dot com bubble burst, teaching us no lessons whatsoever in the process. Finally, this decade, we’ve had 9/11, two wars, all topped off with a steaming pile of financial meltdown.

My lack of patience and deficit of attention to financial things extend even to this Matt Taibbi Rolling Stone article exposing the massive kleptomaniacal fraud perpetrated by AIG, Goldman Sachs, the Fed, and other masters of the universe, all without any governmental oversight at all – not just meaningful oversight with teeth, but any at all. To this day, the lending practices of the Federal Reserve are not only secret, but any inquiry whether from Congress or journalists is met with the kind of eye-rolling you’d expect from a teenager engaged in conversation with her parent in a public place.

Taibbi analyzes what went wrong with AIG, how it committed massive fraud and left us footing the bill. He also argues that the whole bailout is, for all intents and purposes, merely a coup d’etat by Wall Street investment banks acting in concert with compliant politicians and impotent regulators.

There are plenty of people who have noticed, in recent years, that when they lost their homes to foreclosure or were forced into bankruptcy because of crippling credit-card debt, no one in the government was there to rescue them. But when Goldman Sachs — a company whose average employee still made more than $350,000 last year, even in the midst of a depression — was suddenly faced with the possibility of losing money on the unregulated insurance deals it bought for its insane housing bets, the government was there in an instant to patch the hole. That’s the essence of the bailout: rich bankers bailing out rich bankers, using the taxpayers’ credit card.

The thing about all this Wall Street bailout stuff is that you really do need to have some background in it to get any of it. The auto bailout is easy – everyone understands that if you sell a shitty product, you’ll fail. This stuff is complicated by design to ensure plunder without oversight.

The New York Times sort of pre-revealed yesterday what the Geithner – Bernanke plan is to “fix” the financial markets. As this guy points out, there’s not a single independent economist you can find who’ll say it’s a good idea.

Calculated Risk, Naked Capitalism, Paul Krugman,
The shorthand analogy would be to say that Wall Street is in cardiac arrest, and the government’s solution is to inject pure bacon grease into its circulatory system. Balloon Juice shorthands it:

If this were a medical emergency, it appears it would look something like this:

The Illness- reckless and irresponsible betting led to huge losses
The Diagnosis- Insufficient gambling.
The Cure- a Trillion dollar stack of chips provided by the house.
The Prognosis- We are so screwed.

Politically, the problem is twofold and paradoxical. On the one hand, the problem is so acute and crippling that swift action is needed. On the other hand, rushing into this sort of stuff isn’t necessarily the best way to handle such an acute and fundamental problem. Add to that a supercharged political atmosphere, the fact that the vast majority of media figures and politicians are as clueless about all of this shit as you or I, there seems to be way too much on the line to leave it all to chummy Wall Street insiders and doltish Washingtonians.

Brad DeLong has a Geithner Plan FAQ and two of the Q/A are:

Q: What is the Geithner Plan?

A: The Geithner Plan is a trillion-dollar operation by which the U.S. acts as the world’s largest hedge fund investor, committing its money to funds to buy up risky and distressed but probably fundamentally undervalued assets and, as patient capital, holding them either until maturity or until markets recover so that risk discounts are normal and it can sell them off–in either case at an immense profit.

Q: What if markets never recover, the assets are not fundamentally undervalued, and even when held to maturity the government doesn’t make back its money?

A: Then we have worse things to worry about than government losses on TARP-program money–for we are then in a world in which the only things that have value are bottled water, sewing needles, and ammunition.

Assigning blame isn’t necessarily of critical importance at this point. Taibbi spends a tremendous amount of ink going through the historical events that led to banks taking advantage of a dangerous combo of loosening regulations and regulatory loopholes to make incredibly huge bets which ultimately collapsed in on themselves. We then bailed them out, and still have no real regulatory oversight or sunlight clauses to both protect and inform the taxpayers.

Too many people are predicting cataclysm if all of this fails to work. Arguably, it’s the same catastrophe that would have happened had the original bailout not taken place.

Because it’s all so complex and specialized, and the stakes are unprecedentedly high, it’s time for the political elites to stop focusing on sideshows like AIG bonuses, and carefully examine what’s being proposed by the Fed and Treasury here. It’s time for the experts to step in – not the politicians. I don’t care what your representative or my representative thinks about it all. I care what respected economists and financial experts have to say about it. We ought to demand that everything is exposed in the sunlight and that every reasonable solution is considered and deliberated.

This is not the time for schoolyard bullshit. The grownups need to step up.

The Not Necessarily State of the Union

25 Feb

Energy, Health Care, and Education.

Budgeting that includes the true cost of the wars in Iraq in Afghanistan.

Line by line review of the federal budget with enough cuts to pay for the programs that have been proposed, and reduce the deficit, to boot.

Last night, the President addressed the Congress and the people. In addition to the hope being back, one other theme stuck out at me:

While George W. Bush liked to remind us constantly during the early days of his administration that federal money was “the people’s money”, Barack Obama reminded us repeatedly last night that the people sent these people to Washington to get work done. Frankly, it’s a self-evident fact that they don’t get reminded of quite enough down there.

The speech returned the hope and inspiration that became synonymous with Obama during the campaign – if his speech was an over-the-counter cold remedy, it would be called Malaiseaway.

I thought he well explained why the mortgage plan was needed, and rebutted the notion that it would help the irresponsible. He promised to make sure that banks started extending credit to people and small business again to get the economy going again.

On the issue of energy, Obama laid out a challenge to reach clean, renewable energy independence through wind, solar, and biofuels. On healthcare, he promised to fundamentally reform Medicare, eliminate waste and fraud in the system, and put a “significant down payment” towards universal health care.

On education, Obama reminded us that our schools are failing too many kids, and admonished parents to become more engaged with their kids and their educations. Our kids will need to stay in school and actually learn stuff in order for them to compete in a future global market. It is the key to innovation in health care and energy, when you get down to it. Today’s elementary school student is tomorrow’s inventor.

Obama’s Apollo program is going to be a cure for cancer “in our time”. That’s a cause everyone can get behind.

I got the sense, watching the speech, that there was a more bipartisan reaction to Obama’s proposals than I had seen in a long time. Obviously, this isn’t an indication that all of a sudden the Republicans are going to go along with everything, but I could count on one hand the number of times it appeared that the Republican side of the aisle remained seated while the Democrats applauded. If nothing else, regardless of the outcome of the stimulus bill vote, I think the new president has done a good job of reaching out to the Republicans in a meaningful and substantive way. They might not agree with him, but they seem to like him and are willing to listen to each other.

It was a speech that, for the first time in decades, reminded Americans that we’re all in this together. Shared sacrifice – like the banker who shared his bonus with his employees – is what’s needed in tough times. This isn’t socialism or an abrogation of individual rights and liberties. This is underscoring the fact that raising the tax rate on the top 2% of taxpayers back to Clinton-era levels is appropriate, (they did pretty well back in the ’90s). Everyone making less than $250k will get a tax cut as soon as April – a follow-through on a campaign promise. This in conjunction with the stimulus bill, which is essentially the largest net tax cut in history.

When people and businesses aren’t buying stuff, the federal government steps in as the last resort. When people are abandoning their homes because of neighborhood foreclosures that have suddenly left them upside-down in their loans – when it makes more financial sense to walk away from the house than to keep paying the note – it makes sense for government to change the rules to enable them to refinance and stay in their homes.

Obama finally strongly indicated that he would submit a responsible plan to get out of Iraq, make sure Afghanistan is made safer, and work to ensure that al Qaeda cannot launch attacks on America from safe havens in Pakistan or Afghanistan. He also unequivocally stated that the United States does not torture.

I thought it was a hopeful speech that looks forward to American revival, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Energy independence, health care reform, and educational improvement have been on the radars of many past presidents, yet big decisions that look to the long-term have constantly been put off. President Obama indicates that now is the time they were put off to.

Full text, as prepared, after the jump. Continue reading

Trying to Prevent a Depression

5 Feb

After eight years’ worth of profligate spending and tax-cutting, which ultimately helped lead to the current disaster, Washington Republicans would have you believe that the stimulus is “FAIL” or “socialism” or a waste-ridden boondoggle. I’ve also been tickled with certain quarters blaming the whole thing on the 110th Congress. Let’s start with some reality-based factoids. Such as the Republican Party had the White House and Congress from 2001 – 2005, and then grew its majority in 2005.

“This is going to probably be the most productive two years of our Republican majority,” said Tom DeLay of Texas, the House majority leader. “It’s not just Social Security and tax reform, it’s tort reform, regulatory reform, restraining spending, redesigning the House, redesigning the government.”

Obviously, none of those things really happened. Instead, they helped to go to war, spent like drunken sailors, expanded the size and scope of the federal government, and ensured that the wealthiest had happy tax cuts and loopholes, while laying the cost of the spending and cuts on the middle class and future generations. That’s the Republican platform, after all.

The housing bubble burst and obliterated the credit markets like a tsunami, causing the rest of the economy to screech to a halt when banks wouldn’t extend credit anymore. Continue reading