GE

Joey: ‘If GE goes bankrupt, will it be the first AAA-rated company to go bankrupt while rated AAA?’

☞ And when will the ratings agencies go bankrupt for their system-threatening dereliction? Not with GE, necessarily – but with all those mortgage-backed securities they rated investment grade? Did they ever check the quality of the mortgages backing them?

RUSH

Conservative David Frum sizes it up thus:

On the one side, the president of the United States: soft-spoken and conciliatory, never angry, always invoking the recession and its victims. This president invokes the language of ‘responsibility,’ and in his own life seems to epitomize that ideal: He is physically honed and disciplined, his worst vice an occasional cigarette. He is at the same time an apparently devoted husband and father. Unsurprisingly, women voters trust and admire him.

And for the leader of the Republicans? A man who is aggressive and bombastic, cutting and sarcastic, who dismisses the concerned citizens in network news focus groups as ‘losers.’ With his private plane and his cigars, his history of drug dependency and his personal bulk, not to mention his tangled marital history, Rush is a walking stereotype of self-indulgence – exactly the image that Barack Obama most wants to affix to our philosophy and our party. And we’re cooperating! Those images of crowds of CPACers cheering Rush’s every rancorous word – we’ll be seeing them rebroadcast for a long time.

☞ Not all Republicans, but quite a few – and certainly Rush Limbaugh’s millIons of proud ‘dittoheads’ – join him in hoping for the failure of President Obama’s initiatives.

Our job is to treat them with civility but see to it they don’t prevent necessary, positive steps from being taken.

Because remember: these are in effect the same people, 75 years later, who opposed creating FDIC insurance and the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Securities and Exchange Commission in 1933 . . . the Social Security System and unemployment insurance in 1935 . . . the minimum wage in 1938 . . . the Interstate Highway Act in 1956 . . . and all the rest. This country could have really amounted to something, they believe, if it not been for those terrible government initiatives. They are entitled to their views, especially when founded on fact, not misinformation.* But my money’s on Obama.

* See tomorrow’s post.

SUZE ORMAN II

Following up on yesterday’s quick clip . . . according to a forthcoming Center for American Progress study, the average same-sex couple ‘will be denied over $8,000 a year in Social Security survivor benefits upon the death of the higher-earning spouse after retirement.’

Most Republicans seem reluctant to support LGBT equality,’ reports the Center. ‘RNC Chairman Michael Steele for instance, who [has] promised that the party would ‘reach out to new communities,’ recently rejected the idea of civil unions. ‘No, no no [he responded]. What would we do that for? What are you, crazy?’

LEDs

Gary Diehl: ‘I have to agree with Fred Davis. I have actually bought an LED based bulb that was suitable as a full on light bulb replacement. While I am still happy with it and it works for its intended purpose, LEDs are enormously expensive and not as efficient as most people think. LEDs tie with much cheaper CFLs as the fourth most efficient lighting available, lagging behind low pressure sodium, metal halides, and standard tube fluorescents. They are all better than common incandescents – which rank slightly above fire – but where LED bulbs really ‘shine’ is their (hopefully) really long life span. I own one because the location of one of my stairway light sockets is so difficult and dangerous to reach that I’m willing to pay a hefty premium to avoid changing it.’

LETTER TO THE BANK (thanks, Roger, who thanks Bob)

Dear Sirs:

One of my checks was returned marked ‘insufficient funds.” Does that refer to me or you?

☞ Have a great day.

 

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