Going to go all Steve Benen on you, and do some “quick hits:”
Life Imitates Bad Art: When I read about the Canadian Idol contestant-turned terrorist, I immediately remembered a lame-ass movie called American Dreamz I saw about a year or so ago, which starred Hugh Grant as an obvious Simon Cowell ripoff, and Dennis Quaid (!?!) as a W-like President of the U.S. In the movie a terrorist with relatives in the U.S. is recruited by some shadowy group to blow stuff up, and he ends up being a contestant on some American Idol-type show, at which an addled President Quaid happens to be making a guest appearance. I suppose that when real life is turning into a cartoon, it makes sense that terrorist plots start sounding like the tossed-off ideas of bad screenwriters.
Speaking of which, it seems like, since 9/11, the ability of terrorists to competently execute their plans has deteriorated considerably. We’ve had people trying to light their shoes or their underwear on fire, or trying to blow up airport fuel depots with very long fuses. Either we’ve killed all the brilliant masterminds, or aside from the flukey success of 9/11 (which was due in part to the Bushies totally ignoring actual threats and focusing instead on the imaginary menace of Saddam and his Weapons of Mass Dysfunction), the World Jihadist Conspriacy just isn’t capable of inflicting all that much damage. More troops to Afghanistan, stat!
When life gives you lemons, do nothing and maybe they’ll make themselves into lemonade: Speaking of Benen, he has a piece urging Obama and the Democrats to energize Americans by pushing for huge infrastructure spending projects, which would both create jobs and stimulate the economy, and force Republicans to defend their deficits-are-bad-unless-they’re-from-tax-cuts mantra. Pointing to recent polls that show that people are more concerned about jobs than the deficit, Benen sez:
I’m suggesting, then, that the president and his party, shortly before the elections, push a popular idea. In theory, that shouldn’t require too much arm-twisting.
And magic ponies should shortly start flying out of my ass.
Mission Accomplished: The HAMP program has been a clusterfuck of epic proportions, and has succeeded only in helping banks push out foreclosures (which perhaps was the intent all along) while screwing over homeowners. Too bad that even that modest goal is about to go bust:
Extend and pretend always assumed that at some point things would start turning around. But since that’s not going to happen anytime soon, this is like death by a thousand cuts.
To both the banksters and homeowners.
What no one seems to be honestly accounting for is the degree to which this process contributes to weighing the economy down…
So, yeah, in the not too distant future banksters are going to have to unload their shadow inventory and they’ll end up taking even bigger hits on their balance sheets than if they had not been pretending to be solvent all this time. But unfortunately, all homeowners are going to feel the pain as well.
Also at FDL, David Dayen is collecting stories of people who have been “helped” by HAMP. Here’s one of them.
Let Them Eat Catfood: Alan Simpson, who has spent his entire political career trying to destroy Social Security, has tits on the brain. Tell me again why Obama felt the need to choose this motherfucker to co-chair the commission? If his bi-partisanship fetish is so insurmountable, couldn’t he have a found a less absurd Republican daddy?
Beyond Simpson, the whole commission should go away. It apparently wasn’t seriously intended to fix anything, but there’s always the danger that whatever austerity measures it recommends will be trumpeted by the deficit hawks and their enablers in the media as “crucial measures” that need to be implemented immediately.
The Perfect Storm of Deceit: This is pretty funny – Judith Miller and Fox News, made for each other.
(Tried to imbed the video without success, so go click on the link for two minutes of pure enjoyment.)