Thursday, April 14, 2011

Good morning, Everyone.

I heard the initial news coverage of this story last night. I got a bit of a giggle because the Senate tore Goldman Sachs and the entire finance industry a new one. Finally. My only question is--why are so many former Goldman executives now working for the Obama Administration? The problem, of course, will be moving from the findings of the committee to enforceable regulation of the finance industry. Look at how Dodd-Frank was, and is, being watered down.

I did watch most of President Obama's address yesterday. Nice statement of values but he didn't make a strong enough contrast between his 'vision' of American and the Repthuglican's. He provided very few specifics. And, given how the last few 'negotiations' with the Repthuglican opposition went, I have no great confidence that he will stick up for any of his so-called values. Maha, at Mahablog, reflects my concerns when she cites Krugman's sentiment: what Obama laid out is great if that is the end result. It won't be if the end is somewhere halfway between the principles Mr. Obama outlined and Paul Ryan's budget proposal. If that is the final case, it will simply be a question of who gets most royally screwed.

In the late 1930s, the Federal government initiated a number of programs that encouraged farmers to implement conservation practices to rebuild soils damaged by the Dust Bowl. This story from Huffington Post tells us that those old practices have fallen out of favor. Not compatible, I guess, with industrial farming. NY Times has taken note of this story as well. This is one reason why I don't believe we really learn from history. Three generations later we are committing all the same mistakes again. What's that definition of insanity? Oh, yeah, doing the same things over and over expecting a different result.

This make a lot of sense to me. All that kept the largest U.S. banks, which played a very large role in the financial collapse, from going totally toes up were large Federal bailouts and the continued promise that they would get further help if anything went south. The only difference between them and Fannie and Freddie is honesty.

I read this story to Mom and she said, 'They wouldn't do that. They are all honorable men.' (wink, wink) I replied, 'There is no honor among thieves.' (sarcasm alert)

I agree, Lois. I, also, love my country but hate the pandering politicians running it. You are right on the 'crap' spewing from the Fukushima plant. The 'favorable' wind for the Japanese does blow our way. The only thing we can be thankful for is there is a lot of ocean between us and them, and not buy pacific salmon (or other fish like the macerated pollack McFish sandwiches) for the next couple of years. So far the radiation from Fukushima is detectable but not at dangerous levels. But we should watch the situation closely and not trust the authorities all that much to look out for our well-being. Michael Klare, who has written some interesting work on the oil industry, has an interesting article at TomDispatch this morning. Tom Englehardt's comment about how concealing descriptive language can be is right on and think of how many times it is used in other contexts I have read McKibben's book, Eaarth, and found it very interesting. I don't know that Klare's vision of Eaarth as an avenging entity punishing man for his hubristic depredations is all that different but it makes equally good reading.

1 comment:

Rain said...

My biggest fear involves not those who get elected but those who vote. If the majority of Americans are like the Republican leader, with the power this nation has available to misuse, that's very frightening. They want to be world mercenaries but they liked what Trump said about taking the oil if they were going to be going into Libya. That is a statement heading to downfall. It has been for nation after nation through history, and too many Republicans don't even know it :(