Not enough qualified Democrats for the Treasury?

I would love to see Obama humiliate Geithner and throw him under the bus. But realistically, if they cannot even fill existing treasury positions, who are they going to replace Geithner with - Summers? Ha!

Now all these years, we had Democrats do a lot of freaking talking. When they had a chance to oppose Bush on the war, they caved in. When they had a chance to get proactive on the bailouts, they caved in and "whiners" like me were given the excuse that we needed to be patient until we got the power.

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Another Obama blunder: The VA Health Insurance issue

Update [2009-3-20 0:19:33 by Pravin]: I do not understand how this got to be on the rec list so late. Keep in mind the date of the diary. The proposal has been officially dismissed as viable by the Obama administration. However, it should never have been discussed that much in the first place.

Did Obama take the idiot pill this month? One thing I always delighted in taking a dig at Republicans was their hypocrisy concerning veterans benefits. There has been no hard evidence but just mere perception that Republicans were better for our veterans. Bush' administration even started to get exposed towards the end that they were all talk.

So Obama comes in, and he makes a lot of compromises reaching out to the republicans by retaining people like Gates and self proclaimed "moderates" by  making Lieberman happy. He has been the anti Nader when it comes to the Treasury Department.

OK, then we come to the VA Heath Care issue. This is one issue where Obama can please REpublicans while not losing credibility with the liberals. What the hell does he do? He tells the VA rep that he is unwilling to take off the table a possibility that the government will make veterans use their private insurance before getting reimbursed by the government.

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Term Limits needed for the Senate

Obama's administration has been in place for not even two months and while he is more decisive in many areas, the handling of the bailout has been not much better than the Bush administration's handling. But what about our senators? Shouldn't they have had some viable plans by now to present to Obama? Especially those who are in the finance related committees. While details are not easy, I still see some lack of clarity in macro approach to the situation we are in now. A lot of our senior senators have been in their positions for decades. Shouldn't they have had some conferences coming up with solutions over the last two years so that when a Democratic administration gets a chance now, they would have vetted some possible approaches?

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Madoff Whistleblower on 60 Minutes: lessons learned /madoff-whistleblower-mark_n_171120.html

Watch the video.

All these scandals are making me, one of the fiscal moderates on this blog, sound like a Che Guevera disciple.

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Can the govt. bully execs who overpaid themselves?

I am against pay caps for CEOs in non bailed out industries. There really is no legal way to do that. Also, you just can't ask them nicely to give the money back off of profits that were not real profits. I find the conduct of many people in management in several business and law firms morally repugnant. It is one thing to maximize your income fairly. But when you collude with board of directors and other fellow greedy execs to justify multimillion dollar salaries using faulty logic to brainwash the lower level employees into accepting the pay, something has to be done to rectify the theft that took place during the Reagan, Clinton, and Bush years. For so many years, they got away with this because the true inequity of their compensation(not just the salary part) is out of sight out of mind to many employees. Shareholder rights are limited.

I always found it incredibly selective when an exec would justify his or her multimillion dollar bonus by saying that the company made more millions in profit. When it turns out a few years later that those profits were shortlived and they became multimillion dollar losses, will those execs not only refund those bonuses, but actually pay millions out of their own pocket to cover for the new losses? I don't think so.  When did senior managers get this "major ownership with benefits but without liability" entitlement?

So how do we get these people to pay for the massive looting they have done for the last 25 years? We can't do South American style kidnapping of their families or French Revolution style cutting off of their heads, as tempting as that might sound to some of us.

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Obama Says NO to LaHood's MILEAGE TAX

Update [2009-2-20 13:58:6 by Pravin]:I changed the title of this diary after reading a report linked to at the end of this diary where the Obama administration has nixed this silly idea. /mileage-tax-considered-by_n_168506.html

Ray LaHood, the Transportation Secretary wants to enact a mileage tax to make up for the loss of revenue on the gas tax. Hey, here  is an idea! Increase the gas taxes instead. Why are we punishing those who drive a lot but use energy efficient cars?

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says he wants to consider taxing motorists based on how many miles they drive rather than how much gasoline they burn _ an idea that has angered drivers in some states where it has been proposed.

Gasoline taxes that for nearly half a century have paid for the federal share of highway and bridge construction can no longer be counted on to raise enough money to keep the nation's transportation system moving, LaHood said in an interview with The Associated Press.

"We should look at the vehicular miles program where people are actually clocked on the number of miles that they traveled," the former Illinois Republican lawmaker said.

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Wrong person fired in the 100-0 basketball game

OK, many of us have heard of the 100-0 drubbing of Dallas Academy  by Dallas Covenant.

Both private schools fielded girls basketball teams. There was such a big uproar. I guess one could wonder why rub it in with a 100-0 drubbing. But then the same critics who blasted Dallas Covenant for showing no mercy in a game have acted in a much worse manner. They would not let up their criticism and their pressure has led to a cowardly institution firing their coach, Micah Grimes who refused to sit quietly or issue a disingenuous apology as the school did.

"I respectfully disagree with the apology, especially the notion that the Covenant School girls basketball team should feel 'embarrassed' or 'ashamed,' " part of the post says. "We played the game as it was meant to be played and would not intentionally run up the score on any opponent. Although a wide-margin victory is never evidence of compassion, my girls played with honor and integrity and showed respect to Dallas Academy."

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Let's forgive Madoff. Or Ted Stevens. Or Blagojevich. Let's move forward. Yeah!

Yeah, right. As if that will happen. But when it comes to overlooking what the Bushies have done, the media and Democratic politicians are complicit in letting them get away scotfree. Imagine if a looter was caught with a measly 300 dollar TV. Can you imagine public sentiment if the cops just let him go because the past is the past? Do you think Republican politicians would be happy to see the former Mayor of Atlanta, Bill Campbell (D), get away scott free after he got convicted on corruption charges? Do you think they extended that same bipartisan courtesy of letting fellow scoundrels go?

This letting the people who worked in the Bush administration get away with any possible crimes makes neither moral nor strategic sense. It's bad strategic sense because this will not stop republicans from going after Democratic politicians even with a whiff of corruption. Even if they do not succeed, it will leave an impression at least subconsciously in the minds of voters that it's Democrats that are always being indicted. If there is public sentiment against prosecuting Bush via polls, maybe the Democrats are doing a crappy job framing the issue. You do not give up on going after wrongdoing just because you are afraid what the establishment media might write? You go about ensuring message discipline that will explain the issue clearly.

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Scoundrel Perle distances neocons from Iraq invasion

It is indicative of the character of a lot of these neocons that I am no longer shocked by what they say. Richard Perle now tried to parse his words so that he can distance himself from the Iraq war. He keeps claiming that he was not the architect of the war, which may be technically true even if it is a way to minimize the perception of his role in causing this war to happen. He had high level access. He was there at some important think tank meetings. He had access to many top level officials.

And he goes a step further by distancing the neocon movement from this war as if they had no influence with the Bushies in the planning of this war. Say what?

    I have been widely but wrongly depicted as deeply involved in the making of administration policy, especially with respect to Iraq. Facts notwithstanding, there are some fifty thousand entries on Google in which I am described as an "architect," and often as "the architect," of the Iraq War. I certainly supported and argued publicly for the decision to remove Saddam, as I do in what follows. But had I been the architect of that war, our policy would have been very different. [...]

   But about the many mistakes made in Iraq, one thing is certain: they had nothing to do with ideology. They did not draw inspiration from or reflect neoconservative ideas and they were not the product of philosophical or ideological influences outside the government. e-iraq-architect/

We can always count on ThinkProgress to call him on his bullshit.

Perle is right. He strongly advocated publicly for the invasion of Iraq, especially after 9/11, even making claims that Saddam Hussein had links to Osama bin Laden (an assertion he later claimed he never said). But in fact, Perle had direct access to top administration officials during the run up to the war. Former CIA director George Tenet recalled that shortly after 9/11, Perle told him that "Iraq has to pay a price for what happened yesterday, they bear responsibility."

Moreover, the neoconservative influence on the Bush administration, particularly regarding Iraq, has been well documented. For Perle to claim otherwise is beyond absurd.

This is why we need to punish anyone with official responsibility who lied or hid the facts during this war. We cannot let these people get away with it only to rise again when the next opportunity presents itself. If you punish them now, they will be unable to get away with a bland press release when a future Bush or Reagan appoints them or if they are hired to advise some senate committee. Their name needs to be mud to save future decisionmakers from being pressured by their supporters to hire them.

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Sanjay Gupta to be the next Surgeon General?(Update: Conyer opposes)

By now, most of you have probably seen reports that Obama has approached Sanjay Gupta, CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent to become the next Surgeon General .

Anyway, I say it's about time. Not having an Indian in most top visible positions for so long is like having no NCAA teams with black coaches. I used to watch ER with incredulity that it took so long to find a single freaking Indian cast member.

President-elect Barack Obama has approached CNN's chief medical correspondent, Sanjay Gupta, to be the country's next surgeon general, the cable news network said Tuesday. CNN said it has kept Gupta from reporting on health care policy and other matters involving the incoming Obama administration since learning he was under consideration for the post.

A Democrat with knowledge of the discussions over the surgeon general spot cautioned that there was not yet a final decision on who would fill the post. The person spoke on a condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media on the matter.

For a lighthearted look, here is an Instyle magazine look at his wedding .

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