Will Somebody Please Tell Me Why We Bailed Out Financial Institutions?

NEW YORK – Bernard Madoff, a longtime fixture on Wall Street, was arrested and charged on Thursday with allegedly running a $50 billion Ponzi scheme, U.S. authorities said.

Bush’s “haves and have mores” have looted Wall Street, and in the waning days of his administration are rewarded with billions, perhaps trillions of taxpayer dollars. But the Republicans torpedo the auto industry “bailout” because they can’t get last-minute consessions from the working class.

40 top failures of the Bush administration

We to the left of center, know that the George W. Bush presidency has been an abject failure.  Actually, not just an abject failure, which implies that George is just a harmless fuck-up, but a failure that carries a death toll.

The Paper Trail Blog has summarized Broken Goverment’s list of 128 Bush administration failures since the year 2000.

If you think the Bush “reign of error” was disgusting you already, this list will really make you sick.

45 million Americans without health care
60 percent of EPA scientists report political interference with their work
1,273 whistleblower complaints filed from 2002-2008; 1,256 were dismissed
190,000 U.S.-supplied weapons missing in Iraq
$212.3 million in overcharges by Halliburton for Iraq oil reconstruction work
$455 billion deficit for fiscal year 2008; estimated to reach up to $1 trillion in 2009
$9.91 billion for government secrecy in 2007 — a record
809 government laptops with sensitive information lost by FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
30 million pounds of beef recalled in 2007
$300 billion over budget for Department of Defense weapons acquisitions
Less than 3 percent of U.S. electricity needs met by alternative energy
2,145 troops killed and 21,000 injured in Iraq from March 2003 through November 1, 2008, by IEDs (improvised explosive devices) and other explosives — many while awaiting body armor. Additionally, tens of thousands of Iraqis have been killed in the conflict
34.8 percent of oil used in America imported during Nixon administration; 42.2 percent during first Gulf War; 59.9 percent in 2006
$100 million for failed FBI computer network
$100 billion in federal tax revenues lost annually to corporations using off-shore tax shelters
163 million airline passengers delayed 320 million hours; cost to U.S. economy: more than $41 billion in 2007
$60 billion stolen in Medicare fraud each year
2.5 million toxic toys recalled in summer of 2007
$12.5 billion for defective National Polar-Orbiting Environmental Satellite System
$4 billion to upgrade National Security Agency computers that often crash, have trouble talking to each other, and lose key intelligence
60,000 flights made by 46 Southwest Airline jets in violation of FAA safety directives due to lax FAA enforcement
12.8 percent job turnover at Department of Homeland Security in 2006 — double that of any other cabinet-level agency

If you’re up to the task of reading the rest of the list, go here.

Excuse me, I need to go lie down…

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Thursday Open Thread

It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.

Alan Cohen