Monday, October 25, 2010

Randi Rhodes: Feeding the Hand That Bites You

The Washington Post reports that companies that received federal bailout money, including some that still owe money to the government, are contributing large amounts to political campaigns. Wow. It turns out beggars CAN be choosers. A couple years ago, these companies were begging for government money. Now they’re choosing who’s going to run the government. Some of the contributions seem to defy common sense almost as much as they defy common notions of morality. The PAC for GM gave $5,000 to Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), even though McConnell opposed bailout money for GM, saying that the American taxpayer shouldn’t be asked to “subsidize failure.” So why is GM now subsidizing a failure like Mitch McConnell? Well, most of the donations from the bailed out companies are going to Republican candidates. It must be a conservative version of “cash for clunkers.” I guess these companies want to get government off their backs… now that they no longer need government to cover their backs. Now the rightwing is busy burying the statements of Juan Williams in an avalanche of dumb quotes of their own. Brit Hume said “in the culture of NPR, appearing on Fox is a sin.” Actually, Brit, it’s not a sin to be on Fox if you get shouted down by Bill O’Reilly. That means you must have said something right.
Sony says it’s going to stop making Walkmans. This will come as devastating news for anyone who realized that Sony was still making Walkmans. Who’s been buying them? People who like to go for a little jog… in the past? It’s been a while. I think the last time I listened to a Walkman it was playing Frankie Goes to Hollywood, and it was cool. RIP, Walkman. Before Walkmans, if someone was on the bus next to you bobbing their head and singing, you could be pretty confident that they were crazy. Nowadays if someone on the bus ISN’T bobbing their head and singing, you assume their batteries must be dead.

Christine O’Donnell gets ‘auto-tuned’ and goes viral…

Thom's blog
Encourage entrepreneurship
If we as a nation truly believe in entrepreneurship - the very thing that made America an economic success - then we need to pro-actively encourage and provide help and incentives to small businesses. Herbert Hoover started the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) in 1932 to float loans for companies companies that were falling into bankruptcy because so many banks were on the edge of failing that nobody could borrow money. The Dwight Eisenhower administration created the Small Business Administration (SBA) in 1953. But big businesses found ways to game the system and be counted as "small". Now would be a great time to reinvent the SBA from the ground up, making it a place where a person who wants to start an auto repair shop or a small retail store could find the capital to get off the ground. We also need to discourage or ban major corporations from their mergers-and-acquisitions mania and close tax loopholes and stop tax subsidies for them. Moving our personal banking to a local credit union is another good start.
Learn more in chapter three of Rebooting the American Dream, "Stop Them from Eating My Town!"

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