First--if you'd like to read more about the clusterfuck that was the govt's response to Katrina, here's a report from the House Committee on Science and Technology (they really have one?) from the Subcommittee Investigation on Toxic Trailers: "Toxic Trailers - Toxic Lethargy: How the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Has Failed to Protect the Public Health."
Second, the House just put out a report you might be interested in: "Examining the Causes of the Credit Crisis of 2008 Minority Staff Analysis." Sounds fascinating, no? Before you rush off to read, however, let's dig a bit deeper: first, I noticed that the URL reads "republicans.oversight.house.gov"--so I was already feeling like this "report" might not be so objective (or factual) after all. Then I started reading the summary; as this is just supposed to be quick hits, I'll merely highlight the phrases that stuck out to me. See what you think:
In the midst of the most serious financial crisis in a generation, some claim that deregulation is entirely to blame. This is simply not true and more importantly serves to grossly oversimplify a problem whose roots run deep and involve myriad actors and issues. The simple truth is that many share the blame, and pointing to just one person or organization does a disservice to the American people.This is supposed to be a quick hits post, so I won't bother to parse the bullshit in these three paragraphs. Click on the link for a good laugh, though. And remember--deregulation is NOT THE CAUSE! Deregulation is GOOD! Greed is Good! ... oh sorry--got a little carried away by the repug talking points.
In a time of crisis, the American people cannot afford the same old partisan finger pointing; they need and deserve real, non-partisan oversight. We need a series of hearings that will focus on the root causes and how we can fix a system in order to avoid financial meltdowns in the future. This minority staff analysis attempts to objectively explore the causes of the financial crisis we are in and how companies like Lehman Brothers and AIG contributed to this crisis.
The current credit crisis is a complex phenomenon with its roots in a number of places involving a myriad of people and institutions. Key players and institutions include Members of Congress, well-respected members of Republican and Democratic administrations, the Federal Reserve Board, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the major private sector credit rating agencies, banks, mortgage brokers, and consumers.
Next, last night I was happy to discover that an FM station in my town broadcasts the Stephanie Miller Show! I had been catching bits and pieces of this show as well as some other progressive radio when I lived out at the Marsh House, because at night in my car, I could pick up a station from Buffalo. But last night, I was flipping channels and heard Miller's show loud and clear on FM! Woo hoo! Anyway--last night, Miller was discussing the latest idiocy to come out of Sarah Failin's mouth, about how Obama has been "pallin' around with terrists!" like William Ayers. You've all heard this. Miller then started looking at Mr "First Dude"-wannabe Todd Failin's connection to the Alaska Independence Party. The founder's mission statement: "I'm an Alaskan, not an American...I've got no use for America or her damned institutions. The fires of hell are glaciers compared to my hate for America and her government." And by googling around, I found a Todd quote wherein he describes both "Alaskan families" and "American families" as though the two are not one and the same. Interesting. The guy was a member of this organization and SFailin' herself praised them at one of their little conventions. Of course, if you go to their Web site, they're falling all over themselves to make clear that Sarah was never a member, and Todd never participated! Whatever. Michelle Obama got fried by the wingnuts for her "unamerican" comments a while back, but this wacko's in an organization that wants Alaska to secede and hates the US government, and no one in the MSM says a damned word? How typical.
Fourth, I finally gave in and joined the Facebook thing. It's a weird thing. A lot of my friends say they're addicted to it, but I don't see what the big deal is. It's kinda fun to update your status or whatever, but all in all, it's kinda complicated for this old lady. Still... friend me, dammit!
Finally, if you haven't heard the Watson Twins, you're missing out on some quality music. Vikkitikkitavi at Bells On knows them and recommended, and I have to pass on that thumbs-up and add a "and they're hot!" on the end of it. Check 'em out. They're touring with Billy Bragg, and they'll be in State College on the 17th. I'm hoping to get tickets and go!