Tuli Can't Stop Talking

These are just my thoughts on contemporary issues and an attempt to open up a dialogue.

My Photo
Location: New York City

A citizen who cares deeply about the United States Constitution and the Rule of Law.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Produce the Note!

Can we say Depression yet!

No Note: No Foreclosure! It is just that simple, don’t you think?

Reminds me of this:

And this:

Thank you Rep. Marcy Kaptur!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The NYT’s Gets the Stimulus Right, Finally.

They also ditch the Republican Talking Points. Finally the MSM does the hard work of looking at the facts. I am feeling a little positive now.

January 28, 2009

Economic Scene

A Stimulus With Merit, and Misses Too



How much of a difference will the stimulus make?

Two weeks ago, a Congressional committee posted a table of numbers on its Web site that gave an early answer. The numbers came from the Congressional Budget Office and seemed to show that only 38 percent of the money in the bill would be spent by September 2010. That didn’t sound very stimulating, and the numbers soon caused a minor media sensation.

But anyone who looked closely would have seen something strange about the table. It suggested that the bill would cost only $355 billion in all, rather than its actual cost of about $800 billion.

Why? It turns out that the table was analyzing only certain parts of the bill, like new spending on highways, education and energy. It ignored the tax cuts, jobless benefits and Medicaid payments — the very money that will be spent the fastest.

On Monday evening, the Congressional Budget Office put out its analysis of the full bill, and it gave a very different picture. It estimated that about 64 percent of the money, or $526 billion, would be spent by next September.

That timetable may still be slower than ideal, and short of the 75 percent benchmark President Obama has promised, but it isn’t terrible. Spending hundreds of billions of dollars takes time. In fact, for all the criticism the stimulus package has been getting, it does pretty well by several important yardsticks.

First of all, the package really is stimulus. It will quickly give money to the people who have been hardest hit by the recession and who, not coincidentally, will be most likely to spend that money soon. The spending also has a chance to do some long-term good, by paying for the computerization of medical records, the weatherization of homes and other such investments.

By my count, the current package has just one major flaw. It could do a lot more to change how the government spends its money. It doesn’t have nearly the amount of the fresh, reformist thinking as Mr. Obama’s campaign speeches and proposals did. Instead, the bill is mostly a stew of spending on existing programs, whatever their warts may be.

David Leonhardt does a pretty good job of analyzing the situation (read the whole thing). I am heartened by his effort. There has been too much uninformed talk and misinformation about this Project for America and it is time for everyone to get serious.

It is also time for “The One” to forget his delusional ambition of getting Republican support to save the economy. In case he didn’t notice they are the ones, with support from some retarded Democrats and many Plutocrats, who put us in this situation. Why in “God’s” name would they want to get us out of this meltdown? Apparently it is working for them. TARP anyone?

Update: The House vote just made this very clear about the support Obama is going to get from the Republican Obstructionists for all of his pandering and concessions.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Zeitgeist: At Your Own Risk!

WOW! Long, but worth it. Janis this means you!

Many of us are familiar with these stories and legends, but it is wonderful to see it all put together.

h/t TYT

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Robert Reich and Lemon Socialism.

It is why I love him.

So, read it and think about your and our country’s future.

What we are experiencing isn’t socialism, it is corporatism which is what Mussolini called Fascism. When the state supports corporations for the corporate benefit it is fascism not socialism. If we had Medicare for all and the corporations were being run for the benefit of the state, as in we the people, it might be called socialism. That isn’t what is going on under this regime so far.

So, can we grow up and get past this historically inaccurate socialism bull?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

John Mortimer


1923 – 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

January 20, 2009: It’s a New Day

Via Will. I. Am:

It starts NOW!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Be Optimistic!

When I was younger, and still today if truth be told, I loved Shirley. My mother called her Yollie Dimple. My favorite toy was my Yollie Dimple Doll with its ringlet curls. She seemed so tough!

So here is one of my favorites:

I am trying folks, really I am.

D.C. and Post-Racial America

Frank Rich has written about his growing up experience in Segregated and disenfranchised D.C and the myth of a Post-Racial America. It is definitely worth a read.

When D.C. gets the vote maybe we can start to talk about a Post-Racial America. Until then, not so much!

Hope and Dread!

So, it was Saturday and it was All Inauguration, All Day, and Everyday from now until Wednesday morning. Symbolism abounds. And I am feeling hope for the first time in eight years, except for a little time on the night in November 2004 before it was revealed that the American Voters showed that they were out of their minds. I broke into tears constantly for days after that election.

It reminded me, as I have said incessantly, of 1972 when the voters elected a known crook and criminal, Richard Milhous Nixon. It was also how I felt after the December 12, 2000 announcement by SCOTUS of the end of the “Rule of Law.” And most of us didn’t even know that it would go so far as to repealing the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and that War Crimes on a Domestic and International level would become de rigueur and/or de facto.

So, I must say that even though I am conflicted between hope, anticipation, and anxiety I am mindful that we as a nation, and possibly the world, are on a precipice.

The “One” is taking over the helm of a ship, does the Titanic ring a bell, that has hit an iceberg and we may be expecting much too much from this human being. Sure he was the alternative to McSame, but he is after all just a pol, and a Chicago pol at that, (see: Rahm Imanuel ). Not to mention as some have said an almost delusional belief in Bipartisanship. So, I know that I will be disappointed and have so far disagreed with many of his policies. This Financial Iceberg was not unexpected. Many of his advisors were part of the moving and shaking folks that built this ship and put it in the iceberg’s path, (see: Rubin, Geithner, and Summers,) so is this the FDR policy of putting the Foxes in charge of the chicken house ala Joseph Kennedy?

I can only hope that it works out as well. One thing we do know is that it is going to be a very rocky road ahead and I know that given our choices at that fork in the road there was no other choice in November.

Part of my ambivalence is that I never thought I would see the day the American Electorate would elect an African-American to the Presidency so I want him to succeed so badly that it brings tears to my eyes and palpitations to my heart and dread to my mind.

So, the best of Luck to Mr. Obama and the United States of America!


Social Security Redux

President-elect Obama wants to overhaul Social Security and Medicare. Now I am totally for the overhaul of Medicare. We must eliminate the mandate that says we can’t negotiate with Big Pharma on drug prices like the Veterans Administration does. And on Social Security I believe that we need to lift the cap on FICA. Now are these the changes “President Obama” has in mind, if so okay with me. However we really have no idea what is in store for us as the article makes clear. The only idea he expounded on during the campaign was lifting the FICA cap. I hope that is what he is talking about.

And just for your entertainment I am linking to a Cohen Op-Ed from the way back machine when he finally sees the light on President Bush’s Social Security Plan.

They Write Letters

I love the Letters to the Editor in the NYT’s. There were many on Joe Nocera’s article in last weeks Magazine about “Risk Mismanagement.” This one really sums it up:

At the end of the day, it was the human element that was fundamental to what happened here. Indeed, the most cogent view of what took place was shared with me by a senior executive of a major investment bank: “It wasn’t that [senior management] didn’t see the black swan; it was simply that they were unwilling to kill the golden goose.”

Mamaroneck, N.Y.

Thank you very much Mr. Venezia you are so right!

Friedman is Right!

Who would have thunk it?

“I wish people would stop saying that this is a crisis of confidence,” said Steven Eisman, a portfolio manager and banking expert at FrontPoint Partners. “The loss of confidence is just a symptom of bad credit and over-leverage. The banks are not lending because they know their balance sheets are loaded with future losses and they don’t have enough capital. The TARP gave them preferred equity, which is nothing more than a bridge loan. We need the government to force the banks to write down all their bad assets now and then recapitalize themselves, preferably with private capital. Those banks that cannot raise sufficient capital should be seized and their deposits sold off.”

For too long the government has been taking the banks at their own words, which is one reason we keep getting surprised with demands for more bailout cash. The Treasury needs to be doing its own brutal, burn-down analysis of every major bank’s balance sheet — and then acting accordingly.

In recent years, “whenever other countries — Russia, Thailand, Indonesia, South Korea or Mexico — got themselves into an economic crisis, we lectured them about how they had to adopt ‘shock therapy,’ ” said Moisés Naím, editor of Foreign Policy magazine. “But now that we are the ones in crisis and in need of shock therapy, everyone is preaching gradualism.”

A stimulus package that does not also unclog the arteries of our banking system will never stimulate sufficiently. Mr. Obama should take the pain early, blame it all on George Bush and then reap the benefits down the road. Postpone the pain, postpone the recovery.

It is time to put an end to the “Big Swindle” and make the Banks come clean. The American taxpayer and our economy deserve no less. This is one disaster that we cannot buy our way out of.

The Credit Card is Maxed Out Folks and it is Time to Pay the Piper.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Torture at Gitmo

A senior Bush Administration official in charge of the Military Commissions trials has determined that indeed the U.S. has tortured, at the very least, one prisoner at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. This means that someone we believe and/or know to be guilty cannot be tried because of evidence of the fruit of the poisonous tree?

The top Bush administration official in charge of deciding whether to bring Guantanamo Bay detainees to trial has concluded that the U.S. military tortured a Saudi national who allegedly planned to participate in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, interrogating him with techniques that included sustained isolation, sleep deprivation, nudity and prolonged exposure to cold, leaving him in a "life-threatening condition."

"We tortured [Mohammed al-]Qahtani," said Susan J. Crawford, in her first interview since being named convening authority of military commissions by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates in February 2007. "His treatment met the legal definition of torture. And that's why I did not refer the case" for prosecution.

Crawford, a retired judge who served as general counsel for the Army during the Reagan administration and as Pentagon inspector general when Dick Cheney was secretary of defense, is the first senior Bush administration official responsible for reviewing practices at Guantanamo to publicly state that a detainee was tortured.

Judge Crawford’s interview with Woodward makes it very difficult for the Bush administration’s rhetoric about “We don’t torture” to ring true. It also brings into questions what do we do about it.

Now it isn’t as if we didn’t know this was a fact. That said, where do we go from here?

Dahlia Lithwick and Phillipe Sands have some thoughts on this.

Dr. Doom, Once Again!

It is so hard to dismiss his opinions as he has been right all along.

Bird and Fortune, Once Again!

They have a great expose on “Silly Money.” In these perilous financial times it sometimes is good to have a good laugh at where we are at. I love the discussion of Credit Default Swaps, which is the next shoe to drop.

This is why English Television is sometimes so much better than what we get here on the other side of the pond.

Re-Remixes I can’t wait! What will be the next “Bubble?”

h/t Calculated Risk

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Jon Swift on Dubya’s Legacy

And it isn’t a pretty picture. And Lord do I love me some snark!

So, would you like to add something?

Gaza and Israel

For good posts on the subject you should go to Mtanga. Tony has many posts that you will not find in the American MSM. He is passionate about this as well he should and keeps us all up on the latest information regarding the situation.

And then there is also the beautiful photography, not to mention his love of horses.

This Bothers Me Too!

Jill at B@B is upset that Obama doesn’t seem to realize that he actually won the Presidency by quite a bit and unlike President Bush actually has a mandate.

I really wanted to be wrong about this one. God knows I was wrong about John Edwards, and it is to my everlasting shame that I was. But when I just couldn't bring myself to get on the Obama bandwagon back when I was choosing a breakout session at Yearly Kos 2007, it was because of what I saw as a troubling tendency to capitulate to bullies in the name of "changing the tone." I wouldn't mind if he were simply a centrist, because given the media mouthpieces we have in this country and a peculiar American tendency towards willful ignorance, I'm not sure that even a speaker of his gifts and charisma would be able to sell a truly progressive agenda to a bunch of people who think that a song called "Barack the Magic Negro" is a lighthearted joke. But whether it's the malevolent influence of Joe Lieberman as his early mentor, an unwillingness to admit to himself that the kind of politics the Republicans play in Washington is a far cry from what they're able to get away with in predominantly Democratic Chicago, or if he just plain is a Republican in disguise, it's looking more every day like his idea of bipartisanship is less oriented towards persuasion and more the Harry Reid style of letting them take his lunch money and thanking them for doing it.

I hope that we are both wrong and like Krugman says it is just a “Head Fake.”

John Cole on the Repubs and Bipartisanship

Not to mention how totally screwed we are!

The Very Reverend Mr. Moyers

Violence doesn’t solve anything and provokes everything!

Joe Hirsch


1928 - 2009

Stiglitz on Charlie Rose

January 6th on Obama’s Economic Plan with Marty Feldstein:

These are two guys who I really respect. However, that said, I really, really love Joseph Stiglitz, even when he sounds like the Grinch!

Tough times ahead, and for quite some time. Obama should be paying attention to their ideas.

Thanks and a h/t to Bud.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

The Playing For Change Foundation.

Changing the World through music.

Thanks Janis.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Senator Claiborne Pell


1918 - 2008

Thank you Senator Pell!

Thursday, January 01, 2009


I don’t think that economically it will be better. But I am hoping that spiritually it will be.