North America before the makeover

Pictures and maps from Vanderbilt University regarding our continent’s native flora, by subregion.  Fascinating.

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A monetary-reform approach to the crisis

From monetary reformer Stephen Zarlenga, Mrs. Kucinich’s old boss.  [Wow, what a makeover!  I liked her better before….]

(Hey, I just realized something: We have debit cards, and debt cards!!!  Imagine if we called them that: I guess that’s why we don’t!!!)

Republicans bailin’ on failin’ Palin

McCain, as his first executive act, nominated for vice-president, someone who would succeed, in the event of vacancy or even temporary incapacity (like PTSD stemming from his vaunted 5 years in Hanoi), someone who not all doctors agree will be around four whole years (only “most doctors,” even according to a campaign spokesman) — nevermind the possibility of impeachment or resignation — a clueless Fundamentalist* chosen only to shore-up his party’s political base, seduce non-Republican women voters, and some men by her physical appearance.

While we’re questioning Sarah Palin’s qualifications for vice-president or president, let’s question McCain’s too.

(*–Not that all Fundamentalists are clueless, or as clueless as Palin.)

Crisis and Bailouts: A moral question

How did our and the world’s economy become so dependent on gambling on bad debt generated by deceptive, predatory lending?

Can we declare the Reagan Revolution over and restore some sanity to our economic and financial relations with one another??

OTS calls Wall Street’s fears “misplaced”

That’s the U.S. Office of Thrift Supervision – which I didn’t know was still around after the ’80s S&L crisis cleanup – near the bottom of this AP piece.

Indian Health Emergency Declared

…by the Portland, Oregon, area Indian Health Board, due to rising gasoline costs and the distances impoverished Indians have to go for care from the federal Indian Health Service (hinted at in the classic “Bureau of Caucasian Affairs” treaty bit).  The vote has no legal effect like a settler-government disaster declaration, but it’s hoped it’ll draw attention to the problem … and dollars.

New Bushie ‘Business Plot’: Take Bailout Money and Run

It looks like Democratic leaders in Congress, and the MSM, are prepared to let them, too.  Here’s the details, and here’s a little different perspective.

I believe that “no review” provision is unconstitutional.  It comes from arrogant “conservatives” who propose using Congress’ power to delineate Federal courts’ jurisdiction, to exclude altogether pet projects like anti-flag-burning, public school prayer, anti-abortion, anti-pornography, etc etc etc.  But that’s at best a misunderstanding, at worst a vile perversion, of the provision, otherwise Congress could just explicitly exclude ALL its laws from judicial review, and do whatever it wants, the Constitution be damned.  But this power has never been seriously interpreted this way by Congress or the Courts.  Every act of the legislative or executive branches has to be reviewable judicially, even if just to say “It’s a political matter” or “It’s a Constitutional Amendment” (which would be obvious of course), “they’re allowed.”  If Congress (and the White House) sought to exclude a new bill from review by existing courts, they would be required to establish a new court just for that bill (like FISA), or designate State courts or something.  We can’t have NO review!

And a dictatorship of the Treasury Secretary, who works for the President?  Please!  I don’t see these powers granted in the Constitution.  Congress spends money.

As for the artificiality of the current “crisis,” you just know these guys were sitting around one day saying to each other, “What’ll they do, let us go under, and take the economy with us?!!”  This may be the culmination of W.’s “planned train wreck,” to totally “discredit” government by ballooning the deficit (incl. erasing the Clinton / Democratic surplus!), instigating a reaction to “shrink government small enough to drown it in a bathtub.”  (Of course, it all started with the Revolution of the Colonial Ruling Elites against The Crown and legitimate traditional government….)  They scream about “handouts” to us who are needy, but demand this total governmental giveaway to predatory corporations and the rich?!!!  This is right up there with trying to abolish Habeas Corpus and spy on us without a warrant.  And for the Democrats to just roll over and play dead on this when they have the majority in Congress would be a mortal sin.  RED states may not be buying it, but will they take that outrage to the polls in November and thrash the GOP that brought it on them?

Again, I have to wonder how much of this “bailout” money will find its way into Repug campaign coffers, or perhaps the corporate paychecks of Bush officials if they leave office in January?

Just more Republican “borrow-and-spend” “voodoo economics”!!!