As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Rest Of The Week In Review

OK, it's been an OK week, but next week, when I get my replacement laptop, we'll be singing. Singing, I tell you!

• NPR has received all kinds of plaudits for their Planet Money series, but they still have to maintain that "Nice Polite Republican" balance, I guess, which would explain this ridiculous interview with Elizabeth Warren, where Adam Davidson completely dismisses the Harvard professor and accuses her of using her position as head of the Congressional Oversight Panel for the bailout to push her "pet issues." This is the state of our media, when ensuring a fair banking system for all is considered a "pet issue."

• Turns out Bernie Madoff and his family withdrew $12 billion dollars throughout 2008 before getting caught. How does that not catch the eye of any regulators, but Eliot Spitzer taking out a few hundred here and there raised enough eyebrows to secure a wiretap? If I didn't know better, I'd say the whole thing was politically motivated.

• The ultimate end to the Norm Coleman-Al Franken mess would be for the Supreme Court to somehow overturn the obvious verdict, only to have Coleman indicted the very next day for those corruption issues. Actually the first part is virtually impossible, but the investigation of the second part is expanding rapidly.

• Despite the nonsense from the right that releasing all those "dangerous terrorists" at Guantanamo will lead to them washing your fruit at the local Shop-Rite while plotting attacks, in the real world judges continue to order the release of detainees found to have no involvement in terrorism whatsoever, and the government keeps releasing other detainees into foreign countries after clearing them of any wrongdoing. Meanwhile the military commissions will address the use of torture at Guantanamo in an upcoming hearing.

• Al Gore waded into the Dick Cheney controversy this week, noting that he waited two years to criticize W., but I personally liked Jesse Ventura's reaction better.

• Look at this, a blog committed some journalism and read Sonia Sotomayor's appellate opinions, and came to a conclusion about her legal mind based on them! Doesn't he know the way to do it is to listen to self-interested whisperers and printing every slander on Sotomayor they make?

• Meanwhile in Iraq, sectarian violence continues, militant groups are flowing in through Syria with increased frequency, and the north of the country is seeing continued violence, but there is some good news - an apparent agreement between the Shiite government and the Kurds on the sale of oil.

• According to some, the man who swam to Aung Sun Suu Kyi's compound in Burma was put up to it by the government, because her house arrest was about to end. Now that this mysterious swimmer broke the house arrest terms, Suu Kyi sits in jail. Pitiful and sad.

• Immigration has slowed to the point that minority population growth is now slowing, but the crackdowns on immigrant populations still impact communities, mostly negatively. The Obama Administration has talked about enforcing employers instead of workers, and Postville would be the test case of why that could be a better approach.

• Mexico has a Museum of Drugs where they educate law enforcement on the tactics used by smugglers. Maybe now we can plant a Museum of Drugs in Amreica now that we've apparently ended the Drug War, at least rhetorically. Sadly, much of the interdiction policies remain, but this is a good start.

• I'm as concerned about the failure to make the banks pay for the consequences of their actions as Ian Welsh. But the criticisms that Republicans seem to be making, which waver between Obama's a scary socialist and he's sinking the economy by having to accept our insufficient stimulus terms, aren't just off the mark, but they leave on the table a very significant critique of the White House that would really galvanize support if used correctly.

• This Bush official really needs to go down. Not only did he apparently toss billions in pension funds into the stock market just in time for it to sink like a stone, but he made all kinds of backroom deals with Wall Street firms to contract out the business.

• This colloquy at The Corner after one of their order dares to criticize Rush Limbaugh really signals the extent of his power over not just the Republican Party, but all of of its various conservative organs. It's really quite incredible.

• You know your country is going through a recession when you can entice voters through a bumper crop in potatoes. I dig 'em twice-baked, home fried or made into hash browns, but contra Mahmoud Ahmadinejad I don't think it would swing my vote.

• These teabaggers will give us all hours upon hours of entertainment. The leader is apparently a major tax cheat.

• How many different ways can Republicans screw up Twitter?