In “Taliban resurgence pushes troops to change tack,” Al Jazeera‘s Josh Rushing joins U.S. troops on the frontline in Afghanistan. Watch this and then ask yourself: Why isn’t this as freely available on your cable as CNN or Fox News? And yes, you’ve heard Rushing’s name; he’s the former Marine flack during the Iraq invasion who was featured in the documentary Control Room and then defied the Pentagon by talking about his experiences with Al Jazeera. Now he works for Al Jazeera.
The International Monetary Fund predicts that the global economy will come to “a virtual halt.” No, not yet and not for everybody. For evidence, see “What Red Ink? Wall Street Paid Hefty Bonuses” in the Times:
Despite crippling losses, multibillion-dollar bailouts and the passing of some of the most prominent names in the business, employees at financial companies in New York, the now-diminished world capital of capital, collected an estimated $18.4 billion in bonuses for the year.
That was the sixth-largest haul on record, according to a report released Wednesday by the New York State comptroller.
While the payouts paled next to the riches of recent years, Wall Street workers still took home about as much as they did in 2004, when the Dow Jones industrial average was flying above 10,000, on its way to a record high.
On the other hand, you can say that capitalism is in trouble, judging by the surprisingly cynical, lively tone of Ben White‘s above story.
In fact, this is one of the rare moments when a Times story is sharper and more skeptical than the tabloids’ stories on the same topic. Compare this morning’s Daily News story: “City takes hit as Wall St. bonuses cut.” Or the Post‘s: “WALL STREET BONUSES DROP TO LOWEST IN 30 YEARS.”
Yes, the fact that the bonuses sharply fell indicates trouble on Wall Street. But the main thing it indicates is that the bonuses in past years have been staggeringly unconscionable and are now falling back to being merely unconscionable.
In any case, Barack Obama, the nation’s first Kenyan-Kansan president, has already used his bully pulpit to preach social responsibility and rail against greed. Looks as if he might have to summon these Wall Street gangsters to the basketball court and posterize them. You know, add them to his In-Your-Facebook.
And you can just ignore the caterwauling by Capitol Hill’s Republicans about Obama’s stimulus plan. Even the Wall Street Journal reports that corporate types look favorably on Obama’s package.
For those of us accident victims bleeding after being run over on Wall Street or gasping for breath at the foot of Capitol Hill, that stimulus package can’t come too soon. The depression is finally hitting home: I almost dropped my laptop when I heard that profits earned by my Sony baby daddy dropped by 95 percent. Poor little laptop overheats as it is.
If yours still works (and if you’re reading this, it is), click on these items…
NO PARTICULAR ORDER:
N.Y. Post: ‘MTA BOARD FARES BADLY AT HEARING’
Wall Street Journal: ‘Continuing Jobless Claims Hit Record’
N.Y. Times: ‘What Red Ink? Wall Street Paid Hefty Bonuses’
N.Y. Daily News: ‘Mobster put body in acid, then gave boss the finger — in soup’
N.Y. Post: ‘CONEY ISLAND’S ROCKET SPARED’
Wall Street Journal: ‘U.S. Moves to Aid Credit Unions’
N.Y. Times: ‘Youth Charged With More Attacks on Latinos’
N.Y. Post: ‘”BIZ BILK” GAL WANTS LOOT BACK FROM FEDS’
N.Y. Post: ‘BEEF AT GAY INSULT: VEGETARIAN SUES’
N.Y. Daily News: ‘15,000 school jobs may go: Klein’
N.Y. Times: ‘Friends, Until I Delete You’
FOX: ‘Curvy Kim Kardashian Thinks Curvy Jessica Simpson “Looks Hot”‘
N.Y. Times: ‘On Iraq, Obama Faces Hard Choices’
Wall Street Journal: ‘Chinese Premier Blames Recession on U.S. Actions’
N.Y. Times: ‘After the War on Terror’ (Roger Cohen)
N.Y. Times: ‘Blagojevich to End Boycott of His Own Trial’
N.Y. Times: ‘White House Unbuttons Formal Dress Code’
From the Times:
N.Y. Post: ‘MADOFF: I’M WEAKENED AT BERNIE’S’
He’s “The Prisoner of Park Avenue.”
Bernie Madoff is whining to anyone who’ll listen that he’s being held captive in his palatial penthouse and unable to traipse around the Big Apple as he did before being busted for running a $50 billion Ponzi scheme, a source familiar with the scam artist told the Post.
“I’m a prisoner in my own house!” Madoff fumed. “I can’t go anywhere! I’m stuck here all day!”…
In recent days, The Post has learned, private contractors have been moving at the request of federal authorities to install wiretaps on Madoff’s apartment phones and computers.
“If he surfs the Web or makes a call, it’s going to be tracked,” a source said.
NY1: ‘Queens Warehouse May Be Linked To Madoff Scheme’
Bloomberg: ‘Madoff’s Tactics Date to 1960s When Father-in-Law Was Recruiter’
Bloomberg: ‘Ex-Madoff Worker Objects to $58,000 Bill for Boss’s Mercedes’
Wall Street Journal: ‘Painting the Scene of Madoff’s Operation’
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 29, 2009