The Obama administration is engineering its new bailout initiatives in a way that it believes will allow firms benefiting from the programs to avoid restrictions imposed by Congress, including limits on lavish executive pay, according to government officials.
Administration officials have concluded that this approach is vital for persuading firms to participate in programs funded by the $700 billion financial rescue package.
The administration believes it can sidestep the rules because, in many cases, it has decided not to provide federal aid directly to financial companies, the sources said. Instead, the government has set up special entities that act as middlemen, channeling the bailout funds to the firms and, via this two-step process, stripping away the requirement that the restrictions be imposed, according to officials.
Although some experts are questioning the legality of this strategy, the officials said it gives them latitude to determine whether firms should be subject to the congressional restrictions, which would require recipients to turn over ownership stakes to the government, as well as curb executive pay.
The administration has decided that the conditions should not apply in at least three of the five initiatives funded by the rescue package.
31 documents found in 0.001 seconds.
- ABC News
- Alan Greenspan
- Balanced Budget
- Barack Obama
- Boston Globe
- Bush Administration
- Dick Cheney
- Focus on the Family
- Foreign Policy
- George Will
- Government Policy
- Left Behind
- Mike's Blog Round Up
- Mitt Romney
- Mr. Rogers
- New York
- New York City
- Obama Administration
- Off the Beaten Path
- Presidential Race
- Public Financing
- Religious Right
- Republican Party
- Roger Ailes
- Rudy Giuliani
- Social Security
- The Senate
- Tim Russert
- War Coverage
- White House
- beaten path
- defense department
- executive pay
- popular support
- public health
- right wing
- spending bill
- support the troops
For quite a while, the debate over blogs in the Defense Department was over whether U.S. troops should be allowed to have them at all. On the one hand, some officials were concerned about security breaches, with troops inadvertently sharing compromising information online. On the other, some saw blogs as a morale-boosting outlet for the troops.
But as Noah Shachtman explained in an interesting report, a study was written for U.S. Special Operations Command that took an entirely different approach to online communication, which included the suggestion of possibly “clandestinely recruiting or hiring prominent bloggers.”
“Hiring a block of bloggers to verbally attack a specific person or promote a specific message may be worth considering,” write the report’s co-authors, James Kinniburgh and Dororthy Denning.... Denning, a professor at Naval Postgraduate School, adds in an e-mail, “I got some positive feedback from people who read the article, but I don’t know if it led to anything.”
The report introduces the military audience to the “blogging phenomenon,” and lays out a number of ways in which the armed forces — specifically, the military’s public affairs, information operations, and psychological operations units — might use the sites to their advantage.
The Kinniburgh/Denning report was quite provocative, suggesting paying prominent bloggers to address “entrenched inequalities,” presumably in the media. The study did, however, note the downsides of such a plan: “People do not like to be deceived, and the price of being exposed is lost credibility and trust.” You don't say.
Now, it’s worth emphasizing that there’s no apparent evidence that the Pentagon actually put any prominent bloggers on the payroll. A spokesperson for U.S. Special Operations Command told Shachtman that the Kinniburgh/Denning report was merely an academic exercise: “The comments are not ‘actionable’, merely thought provoking.”
As far as I know, prominent bloggers who toe the administration’s line on Iraq policy are doing so for misguided ideological reasons, not unethical financial ones.
Roger Ailes: Obammunists
Intel Dump: 3 to 5 round bursts
agitprop: Conservapedia page of the day
Common Cause Blog: On public financing in the presidential race
The Pump Handle: The wrong approach to meat
It was Ron Paul's turn to face Tim Russert this morning, and he certainly came out less bruised than past guests Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney. I don't think that Dick Cheney's go to guy is a big believer in the libertarian ideals that Paul espouses, so I have to wonder if he just thought that Paul wasn't worth the effort. Certainly, Russert offers no follow up on any of Paul's assertions here that he would abolish income tax and cut spending. For example, aside from pulling the military from overseas assignments, where else would Paul cut spending? It's a valid question that may color what otherwise sounds sensible after seven years of ridiculous spending on war-mongering. If Paul had said that the next program to go was Medicare or Social Security, would it have the same appeal?
As this second clip shows, Russert's entire M.O. appears to be dredging up every single thing a politician does or says in his entire career to find some evidence of flip-flopping, as if that fairly juvenile game of "gotcha" is the only way to be hard-hitting. Here Russert points out that as much as Paul complains about spending, he has no problem inserting earmarks to benefit his district, even though as Paul says, he votes against them every time. Personally, that's a little convoluted way to hold up your ideology, but expecting Russert to approach it in any other way than a bemused "you're a flip-flopper" tone is apparently unrealistic.
Here’s your wakeup call (h/t commenter ysbaddaden). Thought you might need that. Know I did. Brad Jacobson of MediaBloodhound here, the guy who won't be invited to ABC News’ Christmas party. But that’s OK. Let somebody else get stuck at the punchbowl with George Will. And now, on to the links:
Regret the Error's best of the worst of 2007 media mistakes and corrections.
Happy Valley News: “CIA Admits It Destroyed Entire Third Season of Saved by the Bell.”
Scholars & Rogues presents a journalist’s story: “Back then, news people ran newspapers. Today, they decidedly do not. Corporations do.”
Crooked Timber thinks Ed Balls has quite a pair for suggesting a common sense approach to teaching foreign languages.
That’s all, truth-seekers. Send those post suggestions to mediabloodhound (at) yahoo (dot) com.
Rudy Giuliani recently argued that U.S. military generals, by virtue of their service, necessarily have more credibility than practically anyone else. With that in mind, I wonder what Giuliani and others who share his approach to foreign policy have to say in response to the 20 generals who have defied tradition and rejected the Bush policy in Iraq.
The generals acted independently, coming in their own ways to the agonizing decision to defy military tradition and publicly criticize the Bush administration over its conduct of the war in Iraq.
What might be called The Revolt of the Generals has rarely happened in the nation’s history.
In op-ed pieces, interviews and TV ads, more than 20 retired U.S. generals have broken ranks with the culture of salute and keep it in the family. Instead, they are criticizing the commander in chief and other top civilian leaders who led the nation into what the generals believe is a misbegotten and tragic war.
It’s become fashionable in some circles to believe that patriotism demands uniformity. If you support the troops, the argument goes, then you support their mission. To even question the merit of a war while combat is ongoing is, to some, a sign of disloyalty.
These generals, thankfully, believe the opposite — they have a duty to speak out, and they will not shirk their responsibilities.
Can the same techniques used to sell corn flakes, ketchup and power drills be used to sell the Iraq policy to the public and extend the U.S. occupation long into the future? The Bush administration and the pentagon think so.
Madison Avenue To The Rescue
As more Americans called for an end to the U.S. occupation, the Pentagon secretly ordered a report on ways to extend it long long into the future with the help of "Madison Avenue" marketing techniques--the same techniques used to sell breakfast cereal and hardware products to the American public.
Now available for the public to read, (Enlisting Madison Avenue: The Marketing Approach to Earning Popular Support in Theaters of Operation, PDF File 1.37 MB), the report was prepared by the Rand Corporation and cost the American taxpayer $400,000 dollars.
Alabama is in the midst of an awful drought, so Gov. Bob Riley (R) has decided to, well, just take a look.
With the state’s weather forecasters not delivering much-needed rain, Gov. Bob Riley on Thursday turned to a higher power. The governor issued a proclamation calling for a week of prayer for rain, beginning Saturday.
Riley encouraged Alabamians to pray “individually and in their houses of worship.”
“Throughout our history, Alabamians have turned in prayer to God to humbly ask for his blessings and to hold us steady during times of difficulty,” Riley said. “This drought is without question a time of great difficulty.”
Roger McNeil, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Birmingham, was asked if he believes prayer can make it rain. McNeil declined to say.
Given Alabama’s general approach to such matters, that was probably a good idea.
Michael R. Bloomberg, a longtime Democrat who switched to the Republican Party to run for mayor of New York City in 2001, announced this evening that he is changing his party status and registering as an independent. His office released this statement at 6:05 p.m. (EST):
I have filed papers with the New York City Board of Elections to change my status as a voter and register as unaffiliated with any political party. Although my plans for the future haven't changed, I believe this brings my affiliation into alignment with how I have led and will continue to lead our city.
A nonpartisan approach has worked wonders in New York: we've balanced budgets, grown our economy, improved public health, reformed the school system and made the nation's safest city even safer.
We have achieved real progress by overcoming the partisanship that too often puts narrow interests above the common good. As a political independent, I will continue to work with those in all political parties to find common ground, to put partisanship aside and to achieve real solutions to the challenges we face.
I'm beginning to believe that the right wing is populated with a bunch of "adults" who haven't matured beyond a five year old mentality. This kind of petulant behavior I expect from children, not from people concerned about this horrifying health epidemic that is effectively wiping out whole populations in Africa.
The Boston Globe reports that the Senate is considering upping the US contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria to $700 million next year - and the Right is not pleased.
According to the Global Fund's most recent fact sheet, more than 500,000 people around the world who are infected with HIV/AIDS are receiving Antiretroviral therapy, while millions more are receiving help fighting Tuberculosis and Malaria.
The Global Fund is raising and spending billions to fight these diseases, but some on the right are now demanding that the Bush administration cut off US support because religious organizations that believe abstinence is the only way to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS aren't getting enough money
[..]Some on the right, such as Focus on the Family, have been complaining recently that it is unfair to accuse them of not caring about anything other than their own narrow social agenda - but such complaints ring hollow when they try to cut off funding for global HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment simply because their right-wing approach isn't getting a big enough slice of the pie.