February 2011

Angelides commission report (2)

A more critical view of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission than the one offered by McClatchy editorialists a few days ago in a shallow defense of one of its favorite son, Phil Angelides, Sacramento developer, protege of Angelo Tsakopoulos, former state treasurer and gubernatorial candidate, who chaired the commission.
Badlands Journal editorial board

The splitting sound

Why did this happen? Why did even the near-collapse of the financial system, and its desperate rescue by two reluctant administrations, fail to give the government any real
leverage over the major banks?
By March 2009, the Wall Street banks were not just any interest group. Over the past thirty years, they had become one of the wealthiest industries in the history of the American economy, and one of the most powerful political forces in Washington. Financial sector money poured into the campaign war chests of congressional representatives.

Green history (6)

A Concise History of the Rise and Fall of the Enviro Establishment
How Green Became the Color of Money
"Smoke Screens"
How is power really leveraged in Washington? Read Bob Packwood's diaries. The private record of this disgraced Oregon senator and top recipient of campaign contributions from the timber industry from 1985 to 1995 tells the story.

Aw, shucks

"If we lose that act, California will never be the same. It will not," Payen said. "We'll lose our Western heritage, everything. It's a huge issue for everyone who is a Californian." -- Sacramento Bee, Feb. 2, 2011

Fresno cognative dissonance re. water

 It would seem -- although the question was not asked -- that if the river is delivering more water to the westside and some of that water is seeping into the ground, that in drier years the westside farmers would have more groundwater available. The reason was question wasn't asked probably has to do with the influence of Fresno boosters for the Temperance Flats dam, above the Friant Dam. The group Revive the San Joaquin, probably not boosters for the Temperance Flats project, appears to be raising the question of the necessity of another dam on the river.

Sound and fury signifying nothing

Rep. Dennis Cardoza is making a lot of noise lately about something (see links below). It has something to do with the foreclosure rate -- highest in the country -- in his congressional district. He's also denouncing the President Obama and Nancy Pelosi because they don't care about the Valley. Cardoza also doesn't like Obama because the White House wrote a paper about how to reform the mortgage credit system. Cardoza has his own solution to the foreclosure problem and has put into a bill. But you don't hear Obama and Pelosi denouncing Cardoza.

Republicans, the Scourge of public employee unions

The attack on public employee unions, including teachers, is a brilliant tactic by Republicans against the Democratic Party. President Obama chose a national leader of charter schools, the privatization of public education, his secretary of education. Public school-teacher unions are among the most powerful of all the public employee unions now under such serious attack by several Republican governors. Republicans understand that public employee unions have been an essential part of the Democratic Party for several decades.

Self-congratulation in Stanislaus

We found this editorial was more in the nature of fore-fantasy than forethought.
"If" rather than "when the economy and the housing market finally turn around," might be a firmer economic argument on which the base what follows. The finance, insurance and real estate special interests who control corporate media like McClatchy certainly weren't saying "when the speculative housing bubble bursts" a few years ago. In fact, they publicly doubted "if" the speculative bubble would ever burst.