Thursday, January 29, 2009

Good Morning, again. Hope everyone is doing well in spite of the big storm. We got off fairly lucky. Only about 3 inches (official total) of snow. Everyone hopes for some warmer weather. I look at our towering mountains of snow and hope it isn't too warm too soon. Can any one spell 'run off'? After the serial floods last year we reall don't need another round this year.

Meadowview Thymes has some pictures of the ice storm down Texas way.

I must be suffering from a mild case of 'God, I can't wait for winter to be over.'  We stopped in at the local Home Depot to see if they were starting to get their spring seeds in.  We looked at several large racks thinking what we might pick up.  Before we went the rule was 'no buying yet just look.'  Suddenly Mom asked 'You're not going to buy that, are you?'  I still had a packet of seeds in my hand.  I did put it back.  We are not ready to buy yet but the compulsion was very strong.  God, I REALLY can't wait for winter to be over.

Well, the Republicans, every damned one of them, voted against the stimulus package.  Anybody surprised?  I wasn't.  For years now I have translated their promises of compromise as a demand for total capitulation on the part of others.  Joe Sudbay summed up the situation at Americablog.  

"It shouldn't surprise anyone that the same Republicans who played politics with the Iraq war are willing to play the same games with our teetering economy. That's what they do. Hopefully, the Obama team has learned something, too. If the other side isn't really negotiating in good faith, you're just negotiating with yourselves."

Entitled to Know tells us that a new bill has been introduced to that will require Medicare to negotiate prices with the drug companies.  At last.  I will be so glad if we finally break the drug companies iron fist on this.  When private insurers are reaping vast payments from the government, using those payments to undercut government programs, and then gouging the same government with high non-negotiable prices---we are all getting screwed.

Dean Baker at TPM Cafe talks about the newest schemes to form a 'bad bank' to allow the Feds to buy up the toxic assets too many banks still have on their books and still have not written off (because then everyone would know how bad their situation really is.)  Here is the new face of the 'Welfare Queen.'  Remember when that term first came into being?  What was the image the press gave us?  Fat, black, female sitting on her lazy backside while her half a dozen kids, each with a different father, were causing trouble all over the neighborhood.  Now instead we have thin, white, male bankers dressed in expensive suits sitting in expensively decorated offices bemoaning how the greedy poor forced them to make loans that wouldn't be paid back.  Don't you just love it?  And I will leave you to guess who is the more culpable.

By the way, wasn't the TARP supposed to buy up those bad assets--I mean, before Paulson started playing fast and loose with the money and changing the ground rules?  Silly me. I must have been hallucinating.

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