“Republicans have an obligation to regard this as an economic war and to realize you need one leader”

Hotair and Michelle Malkin either are not trying very hard, lack analytical skills or everything they read goes in the deconbobulator and comes out right-wing talking points regardless of what someone actually said. They take this part of a  conversation with Warren Buffet,

JOE: You might not–you might not have fixed global warming the day after–the day after D-Day, Warren.

BUFFETT: Absolutely. And I think that the–I think that the Republicans have an obligation to regard this as an economic war and to realize you need one leader and, in general, support of that. But I think that the–I think that the Democrats–and I voted for Obama and I strongly support him, and I think he’s the right guy–but I think they should not use this–when they’re calling for unity on a question this important, they should not use it to roll the Republicans all.

JOE: Hm.

BUFFETT: I think–I think a lot of things should be–job one is to win the war, job–the economic war, job two is to win the economic war, and job three. And you can’t expect people to unite behind you if you’re trying to jam a whole bunch of things down their throat. So I would–I would absolutely say for the–for the interim, till we get this one solved, I would not be pushing a lot of things that are–you know are contentious, and I also–I also would do no finger-pointing whatsoever. I would–you know, I would not say, you know, `George’–`the previous administration got us into this.’ Forget it. I mean, you know, the Navy made a mistake at Pearl Harbor and had too many ships there. But the idea that we’d spend our time after that, you know, pointing fingers at the Navy, we needed the Navy. So I would–I would–I would–no finger-pointing, no vengeance, none of that stuff. Just look forward. ..[snip] …

BUFFETT: Well, I was going to mention to Joe that you’ve heard this comment recently from some Democrats recently that a `crisis is a terrible thing to waste.’

BECKY: Yeah.

BUFFETT: Now, just rephrase that and since it’s, in my view, it’s an economic war, and–I don’t think anybody on December 7th would have said a `war is a terrible thing to waste, and therefore we’re going to try and ram through a whole bunch of things and–but we expect to–expect the other party to unite behind us on the–on the big problem.’ It’s just a mistake, I think, when you’ve got one overriding objective, to try and muddle it up with a bunch of other things.

Buffet seems to be playing elder statesman and expressing the desire for that pie in the sky bipartisanship that Republicans in their hope the economy and Obama fails campaign, have taken off the table. That Republicans have thus also declared war on the bread and butter issues that affect the average American doesn’t matter, they’re determined to look out for the Rick Santellis of America. Still props to Buffet for trying to find that elusive reasonable debate that Republicans treated with contempt when they were in power. Malkin’s take,

Buffett, who has seen a lot of his wealth disappear in the flames of Wall Street, has suddenly discovered he backed Nero, and he doesn’t appear terribly happy about it, either.

What does Malkin not understand about the phrase ” I strongly support him, and I think he’s the right guy”. That Buffet is expressing some concerns over priorities, not policy specifics is well within the bounds of the kinds of inter-party disagreements that Democrats, unlike the ideologically rigid Cons, have had for years. Day in and day out Republicans are trying to have it both ways – continue their public condemnation of Democratic policies, while stuffing their pockets with earmarks, Lindsay Graham(R-SC) criticizes Obama for earmarks ( Remember Graham was one of those Republicans saying he might not take stimulus mney for his state), but defends his own while David Vitter (R-LA) who likes to stimulate the economy through the use of prostitutes is also publicly slamming Obama’s spending while bragging about the earmarks he snagged.

There are small slivers of Republican sanity to be found. Brooks at NYT,

The Democratic response to the economic crisis has its problems, but let’s face it, the current Republican response is totally misguided. The House minority leader, John Boehner, has called for a federal spending freeze for the rest of the year. In other words, after a decade of profligacy, the Republicans have decided to demand a rigid fiscal straitjacket at the one moment in the past 70 years when it is completely inappropriate.

Like all over indulgent behavior the first step to recovery is to admit that you have a problem. The Limbaugh/Malkin/Coulter Republicans have a long way to go.

The Simple Arithmetic of the Mortgage Crisis Debunks Right Wing Media Narratives

Here are the salient numbers, simplified in a user-friendly format, that get to the heart of the matter.

They explain the year-old diagnosis rendered by a Presidential Task Force headed by Hank Paulson:

“The turmoil in financial markets clearly was triggered by a dramatic weakening of underwriting standards for US subprime mortgages, beginning in late 2004 and extending into early 2007.”[Italics in original text.]

Why would subprime mortgages unravel the entire system? First of all…

Home mortgage debt is HUGE.

The residential mortgage market dwarfs the market for Treasuries. By the end of 2000, home mortgage debt in the United States was about $4.8 trillion, or about 1.4 times the Federal debt owed to the public. By the end of 2007, home mortgage debt had doubled, to $10.5 trillion, or 2.1 times the national debt. Since then, Federal debt has jumped up, to $5.8 trillion at September 30, 2008, whereas home mortgage debt has remained flat.

The article is honest. It acknowledges that a few people got in over their heads, but the vast majority of people that bought homes in the last five years paid the usual 20% down and made their payments. They woke up one morning and found their property has less value then the loan they took out to pay for it. These are the same folks that the right-wing populist Tea Revulters think should suck it up and live in tent cities.

Suicide Attack On Iraq Tribal Leaders Kills More Than 30

A suicide bomber struck tribal leaders touring a market in a Sunni area west of Baghdad on Tuesday, killing as many as 33 people in the second major attack in the capital area in two days.

The bombing was part of a spike of violence that comes as the U.S. military begins drawing down its forces.

The bomber detonated an explosives belt as the tribal leaders were walking through the market in the town of Abu Ghraib, accompanied by security officials and journalists, according to the Iraqi military.

Two Iraqi television journalists were among those killed in the attack and one was wounded, according to their stations.

Iraq was not a war that was won, is being won or will be won at some future date. It was and remains a quagmire we were conned into and need to extract ourselves from.