Thrown Shoes Don’t Shatter Bush’s Delusions

Bush Symbol

Mark Kleiman makes two good points about the shoe thrower. One he was an Egyptian, not an outraged Iraqi. Two, the Secret Service might want to recalculate their security procedures. That said one might consider the irony of the shoes toss, both misses. That is as close as Bush has come to any actual punishment for the worse economic collapse since the Great Depression, hundreds of thousands of completely unnecessary deaths, illegal wire tapping, torture, using the Department of Justice as a political arm of the Republican party and a head spinning list of other outrages. Crime does pay. Go to an Ivy League school, become a Conservative, commit as many crimes as you like. Its not only a get out of jail free card, you get a pension and health-care. Bush wasn’t offended by the Arab shoe insult. To even understand it Bush would have to have a fully functional conscience, Bush On Al Qaeda Not Existing In Iraq Before Invasion: ‘So What?’

Yesterday, after an Iraqi journalist used “[t]wo of the worst insults in Islam” against him, an unfazed President Bush sat down with ABC’s Martha Raddatz for an exit interview in Iraq. When Raddatz asked Bush about his legacy, Bush first boasted about “52 months of uninterrupted job growth.” (There have been 1.9 million jobs lost in 2008 alone.)

Bush then turned to Iraq, and justified the war there by suggesting it had been al Qaeda’s home base. When Raddatz corrected him, Bush dismissively replied, “So what?“:

BUSH: One of the major theaters against al Qaeda turns out to have been Iraq. This is where al Qaeda said they were going to take their stand. This is where al Qaeda was hoping to take–

RADDATZ: But not until after the U.S. invaded.

BUSH: Yeah, that’s right. So what? The point is that al Qaeda said they’re going to take a stand. Well, first of all in the post-9/11 environment Saddam Hussein posed a threat. And then upon removal, al Qaeda decides to take a stand.

Watch it: video at link

Continuing his refusal to take any responsibility for the consequences of his decisions, Bush suggests that al Qaeda came to Iraq by chance, that it simply “turn[ed] out to have been” the place where they “were going to take their stand.” But al Qaeda’s existence in Iraq is 100 percent attributable to Bush’s decision to go to war in Iraq: al Qaeda never existed there before, and in fact, Saddam Hussein viewed Osama bin Laden as a threat and refused to support him.

States’ Funds for Jobless Are Drying Up

With unemployment claims reaching their highest levels in decades, states are running out of money to pay benefits, and some are turning to the federal government for loans or increasing taxes on businesses to make the payments.

Thirty states are at risk of having the funds that pay out unemployment benefits become insolvent over the next few months, according to the National Association of State Workforce Agencies. Funds in two states, Indiana and Michigan, have already dried up, and both states are borrowing from the federal government to make payments to the unemployed.

If everything Bush and his Republican Congressional lap dogs need was so great, if they are the group think to be trusted with our lives and our ecnomy, why do most Americans think we just had a few years of one giant cluster fu*k.

U.S. homes lose $2 trillion in value in ’08. I hope the people that think home values will bounce back to pre bubble levels are right, but they’re probably not. Houses were over valued to begin with. With mortagage companies buying and selling paper based on the incredible premise that home values would continue to increase forever. A Second Mortgage Disaster On The Horizon?

The trouble now is that the insanity didn’t end with sub-primes. There were two other kinds of exotic mortgages that became popular, called “Alt-A” and “option ARM.” The option ARMs, in particular, lured borrowers in with low initial interest rates – so-called teaser rates – sometimes as low as one percent. But after two, three or five years those rates “reset.” They went up. And so did the monthly payment. A mortgage of $800 dollars a month could easily jump to $1,500.

Now the Alt-A and option ARM loans made back in the heyday are starting to reset, causing the mortgage payments to go up and homeowners to default.

“The defaults right now are incredibly high. At unprecedented levels. And there’s no evidence that the default rate is tapering off. Those defaults almost inevitably are leading to foreclosures, and homes being auctioned, and home prices continuing to fall,” Tilson explains.