Friday, September 26, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
Illinois senator advocates help for homeowners, but McCain says rival's plan lacks details
By DAN BALZ and ROBERT BARNES, WASHINGTON POST
"As of now, the Bush administration has only offered a concept with a staggering price tag, not a plan," the senator from Illinois said at an afternoon rally. He added that "in return for their support, the American people must be assured that the deal reflects the basic principles of transparency and fairness and reform."As Hill Debates Bailout, Wall St. Shifts Continue
Paulson, GOP Oppose Democrats' Proposal to Limit Executive Pay
By Lori Montgomery and David Cho, Washington Post Staff Writers
Congressional Democrats considering the Bush administration's emergency plan to shore up the U.S. financial system countered with their own demands yesterday, presenting draft legislation giving the government power to cut salaries of chief executives at firms that participate in the bailout and slash severance packages for their top management.Why is this so very important? Because the very corporations who made these catastrophically stupid investments want to expand the program to help shield them from other losses.
Big Financiers Start Lobbying for Wider Aid
By JENNY ANDERSON, VIKAS BAJAJ and LESLIE WAYNE, NY Times
Even as policy makers worked on details of a $700 billion bailout of the financial industry, Wall Street began looking for ways to profit from it.In nature, the strong survive while the weak die. Perhaps THIS is why the right doesn't like the teaching of Evolution and Natural Selection in our schools. Their incompetence will be revealed.
Financial firms were lobbying to have all manner of troubled investments covered, not just those related to mortgages.
Finally, how did we get into this mess in the first place?
GOP Legislation To Blame For Financial Crisis
By KATHY CASTOR, Tampa Tribune
Early in the 1990s Congress played an active role for families borrowing money to buy homes. The Home Ownership & Equity Protection Act of 1994 included consumer protections for mortgages and required the Federal Reserve to issue rules against abusive lending practices. Under the Republican-controlled Congress, these regulations to protect all of us were never enacted.
The heart of our present problem dates to legislation passed in 1999. Sponsored by then-U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm, the bill obliterated the long-held walls between banking and commerce. The new rules, championed by congressional Republicans, allowed for the excesses of banking and securities firms and insurance companies that culminated in last week's crash and the ongoing crisis in our housing markets.
Gramm, R-Texas, said he was proud of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. During his closing comments on the Senate floor, he said: "The question is not how proud we are of this bill today. The question is, how will it look 50 years from now when it has gone from infancy to maturity?"
We didn't have to wait 50 years. We know right now. In Tampa, in St. Petersburg, on Wall Street, it's just not working. An unbridled, unchecked system just doesn't cut it.
Take a guess - Which presidential candidate hired Phil Gramm as an economic adviser? That's right, John "Economically Clueless" McCain.
“The issue of economics is not something I’ve understood as well as I should,” he said. But, “I’ve got Greenspan’s book,” he assured the audience.
Wow, I feel so much better now!!! Meanwhile, John McCain apparently is still clueless about the economy saying on Sept. 15, “the fundamentals of our economy are strong.”
McCain Gaffes Could Undercut Message on Economy, Foreign Affairs
Presidential Candidate's Misstatements Threaten to Derail Campaign Message
By JENNIFER PARKER
Sept. 22, 2008
The most damaging gaffe came Sept. 15, when McCain said "the fundamentals of our economy are strong," which was a hard sell because it occurred on the same day that venerable firms Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch were collapsing.So, what is the approach of the McCain campaign when faced with their own incompetence? When in doubt, lie and flip-flop.
While that statement is likely to haunt McCain through the rest of the campaign, he went on to make several other slips in the following days.
On Thursday, the Arizona senator said he would "fire" Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Chris Cox. However, while the president nominates and the Senate confirms the SEC chair, a commissioner of an independent regulatory commission cannot be removed by the president.
Trying to recover the next day, McCain confused the SEC with the FEC, the Federal Election Commission.
McCain should have stood by his words
MARSHA MERCER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST
After noting "tremendous turmoil in our financial markets and on Wall Street," he said, "People are frightened by these events. Our economy, I think still, the fundamentals of our economy are strong. But these are very, very difficult times."
Instead of standing firm, McCain did what Washington politicians do when something they say ricochets around the talk-filled universe. He waffled and then he caved. First, he said he meant to say that American workers are strong. And then he scurried away from his words entirely and declared the economy in "a total crisis."
McCain camp criticism rife with errors
By BEN SMITH | 9/22/08 3:58 PM EDT
Sen. John McCain’s top campaign aides convened a conference call today to complain of being called “liars.” They pressed the media to scrutinize specific elements of Sen. Barack Obama’s record.
But the call was so rife with simple, often inexplicable misstatements of fact that it may have had the opposite effect: to deepen the perception, dangerous to McCain, that he and his aides have little regard for factual accuracy.
For more go here.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
She tells of an older German woman who lived in Nazi Germany who kept saying, "They did this in Germany" and gave Wolf a number of books that prompted this talk.
She reveals the FRIGHTENING news that as an American citizen ("a short Jewish woman") she is on the Homeland Securities watch list, along with a constitutional scholar who is critical of the Bush Administration, two elderly women from SF, 2 staffers at the ACLU, one of the leaders of Greenpeace, and A DEDICATED WAR HERO who flew many missions for the US military.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
My Fair Veep
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: September 9, 2008, NY Times
• What kind of budget-cutter makes a show of getting rid of the state plane, then turns around and bills taxpayers for the travel of her husband and kids and sticks the state with a per-diem tab to stay in her own home?
• Why was Sarah for the Bridge to Nowhere before she was against the Bridge to Nowhere, and why was she for earmarks before she was against them? And doesn't all this make her just as big a flip-flopper as John Kerry?
• What kind of fiscal conservative raises taxes and increases budgets in both her jobs -- as mayor and as governor?
• When the phone rings at 3 a.m., will she call the Wasilla Assembly of God congregation and ask them to pray on a response, as she asked them to pray for a natural gas pipeline?
• Does she really think Adam, Eve, Satan and the dinosaurs mingled on the earth 5,000 years ago?
• Why put out a press release about her teenage daughter's pregnancy and then spend the next few days attacking the press for covering that press release?
• As Troopergate unfolds here -- an inquiry into whether Mrs. Palin inappropriately fired the commissioner of public safety for refusing to fire her ex-brother-in-law -- it raises this question: Who else is on her enemies list and what might she do with the FBI?
• Does she want a federal ban on trans fat in restaurants as well as on abortion and Harry Potter? And which books exactly would have landed on the literature bonfire if she had had her way with that Wasilla librarian?
• Does she talk in tongues or just eat caribou tongues?
• What does she have against polar bears?
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
The first is from EJ Dionne, who posits that the McCain campaigns sequestering of Palin from the press is a tacit admission that she is not ready for the Prime Time of the Vice Presidency.
Pulling the Curtain on Palin
By E. J. Dionne Jr., Washington Post
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
The second comes from David Brooks of the NY Times. Brooks points out that in the first ever election where 80% of voters think the country is headed in the wrong direction, traditional campaigning is not working. What is working? Weirdness.
Surprise Me Most
By DAVID BROOKS, NY Times
Published: September 8, 2008