Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Here are the three competing ads now running in selected states. The RNC ad is first, already positioning and blaming the Democrats and Obama for spending a trillion dollars on the bailout, as well as additional proposed spending under an Obama administration.
Obama’s ad is second, with a 2 minute message the Democrats should have been delivering for the last 13 years, on the failure of the Republicans trickle down economic platform.
The third ad is McCain’s, with a list of protections that should have been put in place years ago, not after the fact when it’s too late to make a difference.
According to the Washington Post:
Amid continued claims by the McCain campaign that he would raise taxes on lower-income Americans, Barack Obama lays out his tax proposals in a two-minute commercial release by his campaign today.
"On taxes, John McCain and I have very different ideas," Obama says in the spot. "Instead of giving hundreds of billions in new tax breaks to big corporations and oil companies, I'll cut taxes for small and startup businesses that are the backbone of our economy."
He also states: "If you make less than a quarter million a year, you won't see your taxes raised one penny under my plan. And seniors making less than fifty thousand, who are struggling with the rising costs of food and drugs on fixed incomes, won't pay income taxes at all."
This latest economic message -- with its emphasis on middle- and lower-income tax relief -- comes as McCain and his surrogates continue to say that Obama would raise taxes on anyone earning more than $42,000 per year. That's a misleading argument according to The Post's Fact Checker, because "the vote that McCain is talking about was a non-binding resolution on the budget that envisioned letting the Bush tax cuts to expire, as scheduled, in 2011. But these budget resolutions come up every year, and do not represent a vote for higher taxes in future years."
A new ad from the Republican National Committee's independent expenditure unit seems to dismiss the economic bailout proposals that John McCain continues to work on, potentially confusing voters by leading them to think the senator opposes the measures. The ad also criticizes Barack Obama for the size and costs of his government spending proposals.
There are no lessons learned apparently. It would seem that Lowell doesn't quite take into consideration the gigantic losses the American public might experience while the "markets sort themselves out."
Jim Lowell: "We get paid to take risks, and if the risks turn out great, we get the reward, and if they don't, we're supposed to take the lumps. The answer is to let it go, let this market sort itself out and let the poll following lemmings do what they do best, which is basically point fingers at each other while ROME'S BURNING."
"Let the market sort itself out...while Rome's burning." You'll want to put your fist through the monitor on this one.
The question for Obama might be: Should they go this negative?
Their tantrum and disciplinary no vote is nothing new to these authoritarians, but Pelosi's Democratic message to voters was long in coming, and I hope a turning point in the discussion among conservatives about their free market theories. Perhaps regulating capitalism in some way would prevent further meltdowns and protect hard earned taxpayer money. Duh! In her speech, Pelosi finally says what many of us have been talking about for years.
For Sarah Palin and McCain to belittle the average guy presented in this clip as someone asking a "gotcha" question, shows their contempt for the lowly public and an insight into their elitist political philosophy.
OpEdnews: So, John McCain has retracted statements Palin made about going into Pakistan. During the debate last Friday, McCain criticized Barack Obama for saying that if US troops had members of Al Qaeda in their sights and they went over the border into Pakistan and Pakistan refused to help us, we should go after those members of Al Qaeda on our own. Yesterday, Palin said almost the same thing as CNN reports in this story
According to Howard Kurtz at the Washington Post:
John McCain accused the media of "gotcha journalism" in response to a question about whether his running mate had contradicted him on his policy toward Pakistan.
Over the weekend, Sarah Palin told a voter in a restaurant that the U.S. should launch cross-border attacks from Afghanistan into Pakistan to "stop the terrorists from coming any further in." In a joint interview with CBS's Katie Couric Monday, McCain defended Palin and at one point intercepted a question intended for her. Here's how the exchange went:
COURIC: Is that something you shouldn't say out loud, Sen. McCain?
McCAIN: Of course not. But, look, I understand this day and age "gotcha" journalism. Is that a pizza place? In a conversation with someone who you didn't hear ... the question very well, you don't know the context of the conversation. Grab a phrase. Gov. Palin and I agree that you don't announce that you're going to attack another country.
COURIC: Are you sorry you said it ...
McCAIN: ...And the fact ...
McCAIN: Wait a minute. Before you say, "is she sorry she said it," this was a "gotcha" sound bite that, look ...
COURIC: It wasn't a "gotcha." She was talking to a voter.
McCAIN: No, she was in a conversation with a group of people and talking back and forth.
The horror of seeing John McCain twist himself into a some kind of grotesque pretzel, telling one hideous lie after the next, is just plain scary. Any one of McCain's follies would have sunk the Obama campaign in the upcoming election.
I've put everything I found relevant into the following clip. Hope you can enjoy it's surreal quality of a very real crisis.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Sarah Palin brought something more effective than facts and figures to an agriculture debate in the Alaska governor's race. She packed an engaging disposition. One of her opponents, Andrew Halcro, had memorized the complexities of the subject beforehand. He was super prepared. He might as well have stared out the window during the proceedings, for all it mattered.
"She did such a great job with just the glittering generalities and filling the room with her presence that people didn't care what she said about agriculture," Halcro says now. "Palin's a master at spending 45 seconds telling you what color the sky is," he adds, "and people will say, 'That's the greatest thing I ever heard.'"
Palin and her Democratic vice presidential rival, Joe Biden, each bring distinctive qualities and vulnerabilities to the campaign's only running-mate debate, Thursday in St. Louis. It's a potential gold mine and minefield for both.
She had a way of disarming opponents that made up for her lack of experience. Biden knows something about that, too. Biden is a loquacious man of charm and
detail with an agile yet unpredictable mind. He can bring the house down with a
"I probably had better political instincts then than I have now," Biden writes in his recent memoirs."Today I'd probably win the point but lose the match because I'd be too busy ripping someone's head off with the facts."
Palin hit some potholes in the blur of debates. Asked to name a good bill and a bad bill that the Alaska Legislature had passed that year, the small-town mayor drew a blank.
In one debate, she proposed teaching creationism alongside evolution in schools: "Teach both." The next day, she backtracked.Asked what she would do about rising dropout rates, she blandly offered: "We need to get kids excited about being in schools." Rivals rattled off specific programs they'd expand.
This week's Snapshot by Heidi Shierholz highlighted the growing gap between jobs and workers. In Dec. 2006, there were 1.6 job seekers for every job, but by July that number had jumped to 2.6. The number of job openings is an important measure of employment that often gets overlooked. The number of job seekers per opening is now firmly in recessionary territory, and the August data will certainly be worse, Shierholz notes. The job openings data represent one more strong indicator of the need for a second stimulus package that is targeted directly at job creation.
This is the president of a party that believed in small government and few regulations. A party philosophy where the good stay in business, and the bad get their just due. A party that takes it one day a time, never wasting one precious moment, not one precious dollar on preventive measures or planning ahead. A party that uses what has been given to them by previous generations, without ever maintaining or replacing that crumbling gift for future generation to enjoy.
This is a president that wants to help save us from something he and his party have worked years to create, a sense of helplessness and insecurity, so Americans would look to them for protection. This is a president that doesn't think he's at fault or that he should be held accountable. Here's a president that thinks history will look kindly on his years in office.
This is a president...?
CNN: Citigroup Inc. agreed to acquire Wachovia Corp.'s banking operations on Monday. The Federal Reserve and Treasury Department were also part of the effort, another sign of how proactive the government has been in preventing ailing financial firms from failing and instead pushing for stronger firms to acquire some assets of the weaker companies.
Over the past year, Citigroup has racked up more than $40 billion in write- downs and other losses stemming from the mortgage meltdown. The company was a leader in creating and marketing some of the exotic securities that have been at the heart of the credit crunch.Huh! Has it occurred to anyone else that the consolidation we’re seeing on Wall Street is actually re-creating even larger companies that the government considers “too large to fail?”
Down the rabbit hole…
Breaking Story: Palin’s Parents Think Daughter Ready to be President! Democurmudgeon admits, “I guess I was Wrong About Her.”
Palin's readiness to be president in the event she and McCain are elected and McCain becomes incapacitated has been widely questioned by Democrats and many in the media.I would like to note here that many of the most powerful conservative writers and pundits have also come out against the Palin pick. Maybe CBS forgot about that little detail. Now, let’s get back to the stunning revelations CBS uncovered when they interviewed Sarah Palin’s parents.
In an exclusive interview at their home in Wasilla, Alaska, the Heaths told Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith their daughter is, indeed, ready to occupy the Oval Office at a moment's notice. Chuck replied, "She's ready to do anything she wants to be. Yeah, she -- I -- I don't worry about that at all. That's what I'll tell 'em. Yeah. ... You want some honesty, yeah -- yeah, not a typical politician, get her. Yeah. Yeah." Sally added, "She's got that ability to relate to people. She's diplomatic. She can get her point across.Thank you CBS, for your family values, and hard hitting subject matter. We should all be ashamed for doubting her.
THIS JUST IN: Democurmudgeon’s parents think he’s more than ready to have his own national radio talk show. According to his mom, in a letter she wrote to sister six years ago before they went on vacation, “Yeah, yeah, I don’t know why he wastes his time with that grog (blog) thing, he’s good enough to beat the pants off of Sean Hannity any old day, you know, yeah, that’s for sure, you know.”
Mom, I hope the nation is reading this. My only regret is that you didn’t speak up sooner.
THIS JUST IN: McCain's mom says son ready to be president, and asks voters to do one thing on Nov. 4th:
Each of the issues Obama brought up here were either things I wished Democrats had been saying for the last 13 years about the radical and failed conservative ideology, or more importantly, were angles on issues that basically blew up some old Republican talking points.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
For months, the confrontation mounted, a face-off that arguably held in the balance the fates of two of Alaska's biggest industries. On one side were companies hoping to open Pebble Mine at a huge gold and copper reserve adjacent to one of the world's largest salmon runs, Bristol Bay. On the other side were fishermen and environmentalists pushing a referendum that would make it harder for the mine to open.…and throughout it all, the state's highly popular first-term governor, Sarah Palin, held back. Alaska law forbids state officials from using state resources to advocate on ballot initiatives.
Then, six days before the Aug. 26 vote, with the race looking close, Palin broke her silence. Asked about the initiative at a news conference, she invoked "personal privilege" to give an opinion. "Let me take my governor's hat off for just a minute here and tell you, personally, Prop. 4 -- I vote no on that," she said. We're going to make sure that mines operate only safely, soundly."
The pro-mining coalition fighting the referendum had placed full-page ads with a picture of the governor and the word "NO." The initiative went down to defeat, with 57 percent of voters rejecting it. Three days later, Palin was named Republican Sen. John McCain's running mate, throwing Alaska into a media frenzy.The question is can Palin legally change “invisible hats” like that?
The state ethics panel is examining whether her comments violated the law against state advocacy on ballot measures; it had already ruled that a state Web site was improperly slanted toward mining interests.
Most irksome to initiative proponents was Palin's effort to cast her intervention as "personal.""We were just like, 'When does she have her hat on and when does she have it off?' " Tim Bristol, Alaska program director for Trout Unlimited said. Former governor Tony Knowles, a Democrat who lost to Palin in 2006, went further and said she may have violated the law against using state resources to advocate on initiatives. He said he never took such a decisive stand on a ballot initiative.
"She says, 'I'm going to take off my governor's hat,' but the only reason the press was there was that they were called to a press conference by the governor," he said. "Being governor is not a costume -- you either are the governor or not."
A Candidate's body language-even facial expressions- can
have a big impact on voters. Lester Holt speaks with David Birdsell of Baruch
College and facial coding expert Dan Hill.
This is good stuff, except Holt never brings up the odd McCain expressions during Obama's answers, which I thought bizarre and frightening.
Here's how the State Journal promoted voter fraud in the Sunday edition. Not only does it perpetuate the myth, but not so subtly reminds everyone that voting might be more trouble than it's worth, creating long lines and a possible wasted trip to the polls. It's just what the state GOP was hoping for. What else would a voter think after reading "Voters may be nervous," "Mix-ups and a lawsuits bring uncertainty" and "So what's a voter to do?"
The AP continues to show it's ultra conservative stripes with this prominent photo of John McCain next to the headline, "Congress expected to pass rescue package." Like McCain had anything to do with the final outcome of the bailout. If your just glancing at the story, you'd think McCain smiled down upon the Congress and made the rescue plan so.
I can't wait for the VP debates this Thursday, and the pundit dissections of Palin's comments from deep within the rabbit hole. I'm sure they'll find Sen. Joe Biden's sexist, condescending and fact based look at the real world a colossal gaff.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Question: Is it a good or bad charactor trait for a candidate to point out the common areas of agreement instead of being in a constant state of attack? Would it display an ability to reach across the isle in a bipartisan way to bring change in Washington? Hmmm, I wonder...
Here's a great grouping of clips demonstrating the building anger, with music, of John McCain during the debate.
Finally, the elitist errogance of Republican John McCain, never even giving Barack Obama a passing glance.
Just before you go out and vote for president, you might want to throw a neighborhood “will my vote count” film festival. Who would would want to miss the dvd of “Murder, Spies & Voting Lies: The Clint Curtis Story, After the Florida Election in 2000, one man found himself on the wrong end of a smoking gun."
According to Brad Blog:
The terrifying feature-length documentary, shot in high-definition video, details, for the first time, the complete Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney/Yang Enterprises vote-rigging scandal, in all of its, yes, sometimes very gory detail. It tells a tale of the media, as it details my attempts to tell the story over the last four years, to a corrupt, detached, and too-oftened frightened corporate media. The BRAD BLOG broke the Curtis story originally in late 2004, and we've been investigating and reporting on it ever since.
Don’t forget these other “will my vote count” festival titles as well:
Uncounted: The New Math of American Elections and Stealing America: Vote-by-Vote.
If these won’t energize greater voter participation, then you know to many Republicans.
I’m familiar with Paul Ryan, and simply speaking, his extreme advocacy for all things free market would make this current crisis look like an overdraft notice from your bank.
In a message to members of the conservative Republican Study Committee, leaders of the bloc of more than 100 lawmakers solicited ideas, calling for a “free-market alternative to the Treasury Department’s proposal so that, regardless of how individual R.S.C. members vote on final passage, House conservatives have something to be for.” House Republicans found the administration’s latest proposal to be too much to swallow.
By Thursday, a legislative alternative was circulating, one centered on federal
insurance for mortgage assets combined with tax cuts on investment gains. The plan was promoted by … a major fund-raiser and a rising star in the Republican ranks, and Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, who is seen as one of the sharpest economic minds in the Republican conference.
Appearing on CNBC on Friday, Ryan said Republicans were acting in the interests of taxpayers, and they “understand the gravity of the situation.”
Republican John Gard, who is running against Democrat Rep. Steve Kagen of Appleton, began airing a television ad that criticized the Paulson plan. “You playby the rules and fall further behind, while they (Wall Street) break the rules, and Congress hands them your money,” Gard says in the commercial. “Washington’s got it wrong again.”
S.E.C. Chairman Chistopher Cox: “Voluntary Regulation Does Not Work.” Democurmudgeon says, “No S**t.”
Carl Feuer, a spokesman for UAW Local 2300, sees it slightly differently. According to him, the real cause of the crisis is the falling standard of living of the American worker.
Friday, September 26, 2008
The We campaign is a project of the Alliance for Climate Protection. Founded in 2006 by Former Vice President Al Gore, the Alliance is a unique, single‐purpose organization committed to igniting public action to help solve the climate crisis.
At first, I thought it was just a political ploy, and an incredibly devious plan. I have now come to the conclusion that there was a second reason: Republicans don't want to run as...Republicans.
Here's Rachel Maddow with a perfect example of party avoidance control.
Like McCain, Let's Suspend our Businesses Until Congress Works Out A Deal. Stephen Colbert Leads the Way..
Is this the October surprise?:
Nationally syndicated conservative columnist Kathleen Parker, after a scalding critique of Palin's readiness for high office, begs the Alaska governor to step down from the Republican ticket.
"Only Palin can save McCain, her party, and the country she loves. She can bow out for personal reasons, perhaps because she wants to spend more time with her newborn. No one would criticize a mother who puts her family first," Parker advises, pleading: "Do it for your country."
Parker says: No more. She has declared her cringe reflex exhausted.
"Palin's recent interviews with Charles Gibson, Sean Hannity, and now Katie Couric have all revealed an attractive, earnest, confident candidate. Who Is Clearly Out Of Her League," Parker writes.
"Palin filibusters. She repeats words, filling space with deadwood. Cut the verbiage and there's not much content there," she continues.
"When Couric pointed to polls showing that the financial crisis had boosted Obama's numbers, Palin blustered wordily: 'I'm not looking at poll numbers. What I think Americans at the end of the day are going to be able to go back and look at track records and see who's more apt to be talking about solutions and wishing for and hoping for solutions for some opportunity to change, and who's actually done it?'"
"If BS were currency," Parker concludes, "Palin could bail out Wall Street herself."-Washington Post
Radio talk show host Ed Schultz reports:
Capitol Hill sources are telling me that senior McCain people are more than concerned about Palin. The campaign has held a mock debate and a mock press conference; both are being described as "disastrous." One senior McCain aide was quoted as saying, "What are we going to do?" The McCain people want to move this first debate to some later, undetermined date, possibly never. People on the inside are saying the Alaska Governor is "clueless."
Not only have I tried to peal away the slick conservative marketing facade, but I have also attempted to explain the whole free market ideology as a failed experiment, ready for burial.
Who better to do this than Keith Olberman and John Talbott, author of Obamanomics, to explain the failure of the current form of unregulated capitalism, and the alternative called "bottom up economic prosperity."
I loved this comment from our genius president:
“If money isn’t loosened up, this sucker could go down,” President Bush declared as he watched the $700 billion bailout package fall apart before his eyes, according to one person in the room.
But the unanimous opposition of the 50 states did not deter, or even slow, the Bush administration in its goal of protecting the banks. In fact, when my office opened an investigation of possible discrimination in mortgage lending by a number of banks, the OCC filed a federal lawsuit to stop the investigation.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
I may not know how to save our country from this economic meltdown, but it doesn't take a genius to figure out that the Senate and House Republicans solution is crazy loco. Despite their insane offer to fix the greed of deregulated capitalism, with more deregulated capitalism, the media is letting the extreme elements of the GOP off the hook.
The Democrats are no better. Instead of taking this golden opportunity to brand the Republicans with their failed free market theories, they're allowing themselves to dragged into this cesspool, and come to the rescue of these thugs. Democrats will spend a trillion dollars to bail out the economic mess Republicans created. Then, depending on how things work out, Republicans can always blame the Democrats again for wasting a trillion dollars of taxpayer money. It doesn't have to happen, and here's why.
It would be easy to tell the press over and over, "We're not going to pass any Wall Street rescue plan unless the Republican freeloaders help pay for the economic meltdown they created with deregulation and laissez-faire capitalism. Getting the government out of the way is going to cost taxpayers over a trillion dollars."
The Republicans want to bring "private capital to the market" by "removing tax and regulatory barriers."
According to NBC reporter Mike Viqueira, "Their trying to look at a more laissez-faire free market, anti-regulation approach to this."
It's insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Who would you trust to handle the crisis? Let the NY Times report, then you decide.
Mr. Boehner pressed an alternative that involved a smaller role for the government, and Mr. McCain, whose support of the deal is critical if fellow Republicans are to sign on, declined to take a stand.
Mr. McCain was at one end of the long conference table, Mr. Obama at the other, with the president and senior Congressional leaders between them. Participants said Mr. Obama peppered Mr. Paulson with questions, while Mr. McCain said little.
AP-Nine children were left at a hospital by their father late Wednesday under the state's new safe haven law, a move officials say illustrates the problems many feared when the rule went into effect. The father, who was not identified, left the children aged 1 to 17 at Creighton University Medical Center's emergency room.
The law, which went into effect in July, allows caregivers to abandon children at any state-licensed hospital without fear of prosecution. It was initially intended to protect infants — like similar laws in other states — but was amended to include children and teenagers.
At least four children between the ages of 11 and 15 have been abandoned by parents since the law took effect. The nine youngsters surrendered Wednesday are OK, said Kathie Osterman, a spokeswoman for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. She didn't know how many were boys or girls, or why their father left them.
The AP article goes on about the problems of safe haven laws and it's unintended consequences. But instead of criticizing the law, which worked in this case, let's criticize the parent. The law isn't the problem, it's human nature.
UPDATE: AP-Friday 26, 2008-An out-of-work widower who abandoned nine of his children at a hospital under Nebraska's new safe haven law said he was overwhelmed without his wife and just "fell apart."
"I hope they know I love them," Gary Staton told KETV. "I hope their future is better without me around them."
Staton said his wife died early last year, shortly after delivering their youngest child. He said he quit his job because of his family responsibilities but couldn't pay rent or utilities or take care of his kids.
"I was with her for 17 years, and then she was gone," he said of his late wife. "What was I going to do? We raised them together. I didn't think I could do it alone. I fell apart. I couldn't take care of them."
Staton said he surrendered them so they would be safe.
This story, based on information from EPI (the Economic Policy Institute), exposes the problem of job losses in the U.S.. The myth of getting a college education and landing a decent job is one of its shocking revelations. Bill Tucker has the bad news:
McCain Lied to David Letterman and Skipped His Show, He Instead Does Interview with Couric Down Hall
The GOP presidential candidate canceled his appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman on short notice, because he apparently told the TV host he was "racing back to Washington" to attend to the current economic crisis.
Letterman was not pleased. But watch what happens when the host and his replacement guest, Keith Olbermann (who teased this bit on his MSNBC show Countdown), learn that Sen. McCain was at that very moment not racing to the airport.
He was being interviewed by Letterman's CBS colleague Katie Couric. Letterman then proceeds to broadcast the live feed of the interview on his show.
Here are a few comments from Letterman, according to AP:
This doesn't smell right," Letterman said. "This is not the way a tested hero behaves. Somebody's putting something in his Metamucil." Letterman called McCain "a true American hero" but told his viewers: "This is not the John McCain I know, by God. It makes me believe something is going haywire with the campaign."
Instead of suspending a campaign, Letterman said, a presidential candidate should go to Washington to deal with a crisis and let his running mate shoulder the burdens of politicking.
"That's what you do. You don't quit. ... Or is that really a good thing to do?" Letterman said, a reference to McCain's running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. "What's the problem? Where is she? Why isn't she doing that?" he asked.
Letterman later asked: "Are we suspending it because there's an economic crisis or because the poll numbers are sliding?"
McCain told the CBS show that he was immediately flying back to Washington, Letterman told his audience. Then Letterman showed a TV feed of McCain being made-up for an appearance on news anchor Katie Couric's "CBS Evening News."
"Doesn't seem to be racing to the airport, does he?" Letterman said. "This just gets uglier and uglier."
As McCain spoke to Couric, Letterman shouted at the feed: "Hey, John, I've got a question. Do you need a ride to the airport?"
Letterman later said: "We're told now that the senator has concluded his interview with Katie Couric and he's now on Rachael Ray's show making veal piccata. ... What are you going to do?"
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
It's refreshing to see a burst of feminism from anyone these days, especially a news anchor, turning the tables on the McCain strategy of accusing anyone of sexism if they ask a tough question or mention the word lipstick. Even my mindless Republican friend loved the sentiment.
Barack Obama said "it's more important than ever" that the country hear from its next president. It's my belief that this is exactly the time when the American people need to hear from the person who, in approximately 40 days, will be responsible for dealing with this mess," Obama said at a news conference in Clearwater, Fla. "It's going to be part of the president's job to deal with more than one thing at once."
I thought this was rather revealing:
McCain senior adviser Steve Schmidt said that if an agreement is not reached by Monday, "there is potential for an economic calamity the likes of which has not been seen since, potentially, the Great Depression."
Thank you. The irony isn't lost on most of us. So we should elect another Republican and party member that believes in the very ideology that brought about this crisis?
Michael Douglas had to field questions Wednesday about the financial turmoil shaking world markets from reporters recalling his role in the 1987 film "Wall Street."
The actor sought to focus on the subject of Wednesday's news conference - urging the United States and eight other holdout nations to ratify a nuclear test ban treaty.
Douglas won an Academy Award for portraying the rapacious banker Gordon Gekko, who popularized the phrase "greed is good" in the movie.
After world leaders here condemned the "boundless greed" of world markets, Douglas was asked to compare nuclear Armageddon with the "financial Armageddon on Wall Street."
"I'm not saying that," Douglas replied. "And my name is not Gordon. He's a character I played 20 years ago."
He felt manipulated at the transparent political ploy. If McCain were sincere, his announcement would have been short and sweet, but that didn't happen.
Watch in amazement as Mcacain Sr. Policy Advisor Nancy Pfotenhauer bobs her head yes, dripping with insincerity, politicizing the situation minutes after the announcement. Watching this cold, calculating carnival barker, nodding yes, reminds me of Super-Marionation and some of the female characters in Fireball Xl5, Supercar and Stingray. This time though, we know who's pulling the strings
For a presidential candidate running against Wall Street greed, Sen. John McCain's selection of titans of finance to discuss the ailing economy with this morning did little to underline his message. Gathered around McCain's U-shaped table was Stephen Schwarzman, co-founder of the private equity giant, Blackstone Group. Schwarzman has recently become the poster child in a Washington debate over what many consider to be the mother of all tax dodges, "carried interest." He received a $350.2 million in cash distributions last year. On much of that income, Schwarzman's tax rate was a secretary-level 15 percent, not the 35 percent income tax rate that regular rich folks pay. That is because private equity traders like Schwarzman structure their fees as capital gains and are taxed accordingly. He even sold a stake of his company to an entity controlled by the Chinese government -- not a crowd pleaser on the campaign trail. But it is his lifestyle that has long raised eyebrows. His personal chef "often spends $3,000 for a weekend of food for Mr. Schwarzman and his wife, including stone crabs that cost $400, or $40 per claw," the Journal reported.
Henry Kravis, the takeover artist made famous in "Barbarians At The Gate," Kravis helped engineer the leveraged buyout of R.J.R. Nabisco in 1988 with what was then a staggering sum of mostly borrowed money, $31.4 billion. After a few years, the deal unraveled and the company was dismantled.
John Thain, who took control of Merrill Lynch as it stumbled into the subprime crisis -- and then steered it into the maw of Bank of America during investment banking's darkest week. Thain, who as chairman and chief executive of Merrill Lynch was actually at the helm of one of the venerable institutions felled by the crisis McCain is trying to help address.
AP - Almost up until the time it was taken over by the government in the nation's financial crisis, one of two housing giants paid $15,000 a month to the lobbying firm of John McCain's campaign manager, a person familiar with the financial arrangement says. The money from Freddie Mac (FRE) to the firm of Rick Davis is on top of more than $30,000 a month that went directly to Davis for five years starting in 2000. The $30,000 a month came from both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae (FNM), the other housing entity now under the government's control because of the nation's financial crisis.
All the payments were first reported by The New York Times, which posted an article Tuesday night revealing the $15,000 a month to the firm of Davis Manafort. The McCain campaign said the $15,000 a month went to Davis's firm, not to Davis.
But factcheck.org has never gotten the hang of ideological meanings while interpreting political commentary. Let’s take health care for instance. According to Marketwatch:
Every day, another financial institution shutters its doors. Over 600,000 thousand U.S. jobs have been lost so far this year. Gas, food, and health care prices are through the roof. The writing is on the wall: the American economy is teetering on the edge of collapse, and American families are paying the price. But despite the mounting evidence that deregulation has been a major contributing factor in the current financial crisis, John McCain wants to implement the same, failed Bush-McCain economic policies on our health care system.
On Sunday, the Washington Post reported that in a recent article he authored in Contingencies Magazine, John McCain wrote that "Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation."
SEIU International President Andy Stern responded by saying "You would think that the 'going out of business sales' on Wall Street would demonstrate what can happen when there is no watchdog keeping an eye on big business. Now, John McCain wants our health care system run the same way. Aren't families struggling enough? Stern pointed out that the worst is still to come as the financial meltdown hits kitchen tables - and that John McCain's health care plan would mean less regulation for insurance companies, more costs and more risks for ordinary working families.
McCain’s positions are pretty clear. His ideological business model is consistent with his party affiliation. Competition can only take place if regulations don’t hold them back. Simple? Not for factcheck.org.:
McCain said he would "reduce oversight of the health insurance industry ... just 'as we have done over the last decade in banking.' " But the ad takes the comments out of context, failing to explain what exactly McCain meant by the comparison to banking. He was talking specifically about allowing the sale and purchase of health insurance plans across state lines.
Globe editorial (Sept. 21): There is no comparable lab test, however, for the radical revision of health care that McCain is proposing. For all of his moderate positions on immigration and climate change, on health care he has endorsed a right-wing ideologues vision: destroy employer-based coverage and turn Americans over to the tender mercies of private nongroup insurers in an unregulated environment. It's a prescription for disaster.
Health Care Next Republican Economic Disaster, But This Time Personalized. McCain's "Your On Your Own" Plan
What Chris and I have noticed, but is getting little press, is McCain's simpleton reliance on index cards to properly make his case. He not at a podium, but on the floor of the plant reading cards to the workers, denying he was ever a Washington insider. Rabbit hole politics. As he is leaving, he's shouted out with "Obama."
They are in your face elitists, as demonstrated here by the unprofessional attacks on a fellow American, Robert Kuttner, who has written a book on Barack Obama entitled "Obama's Challenge." If you support anyone other than a Republican candidate, you're beneath them. It's funny, the vicious attacks and denigrations show conservatives for what they really are, elitists.
Robert Kuttner holds his own, and says what a lot of us wish we could say to the Fox News bloviator, while at the same time eliciting from Hannity the incoherent anger and vacuous nature of conservatives talking points.
Fringe Group NRA Spew Ads That Use And Manipulate Veterans, Lie Straight Faced, Take Aim at Obama/Biden
One ad stars former Marine and Iraq war veteran Kurt Rusch. "Like all the guys I fought with in Iraq, I was honored to defend my country and our freedom. But when I got back stateside, I learned that Barack Obama opposes my right to own a handgun for self-defense. It's ridiculous," Rusch says in the spot, adding later in it: "There's no way I'm voting for a president" who would take away "the freedoms that I fought for, that my friends died to defend."
Another ad, called "Hunter", stars Kurt's father, Karl Rusch. "I gotta tell you, with the high cost of gas and just about everything else, we're all feeling pinched," Rusch says. "And now I learn that Barack Obama supports a huge new tax on my guns and ammo. Where is this guy from? He's probably never been hunting a day in his life. You don't have to be bitter to know Barack Obama isn't the kind of change we need."
Washington Post's Fact Checker gave the spot three out of four Pinocchios for its claims that Obama would take away guns and ammunition used by hunters.
The Obama campaign notes the senator has no plan to raise taxes on guns or ammunition and did not vote to regulate the sale of hunting ammunition but instead on "armor piercing" or "cop killing" bullets. It also cites several votes Obama has cast in favor of legislation the NRA supported.
In Pennsylvania the group will target Joe Biden with an ad that states that Biden "wants you to believe he shares your values because he was born in Scranton. But Pennsylvania gun owners and hunters don't share his values. Joe Biden voted to ban ammunition used for hunting and self-defense.
Just a little note on John McCain and the NRA from CBS:
Though NRA officials made conciliatory statements concerning McCain, the Arizona senator has not always been a favorite of the gun lobby: He earned a C+ from the NRA in 2004 after backing legislation to close the so-called "gun show loophole," legislation that this 2003 NRA document claimed "is about eliminating gun shows." McCain is also the co-author of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance legislation that the NRA saw as an unfair restriction on its free speech. McCain told Field And Stream that his position in favor of closing the gun show loophole is the issue most likely to cause friction between himself and sportsmen. "I think that gun shows are marvelous, and we now have the capability for instant background checks," he said.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
In an editorial entitled, DC Heist - Wall Street Gang Hijacks Washington, Gerald Celente Founder/Director, The Trends Research Institute and Publisher the The Trends Journal wrote this:
On the evening of September 18th 2008, the American democratic system was replaced by a financial dictatorship.
What was billed as a "Federal Bailout" was nothing less than a bloodless coup. The Wall Street Gang had taken over the White House and control of Washington. Congress promised not to resist, and pledged to pass legislation as demanded.
Warning that America's financial system was perilously close to collapse unless immediate action was taken, economic martial law was declared.
The American people were told that from this day forward, they would be responsible for paying off the bad debt from any failing private financial enterprise deemed "too big to fail."
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, spearheading the coup, sought unrestricted authority to spend the nation's money as he saw fit. The first order of business by the Economic Czar was to take trillions of dollars of bad debt from crumbling investment banks and insurance companies and transfer it to the backs of already debt-burdened citizens.
"We're talking hundreds of billions," said Paulson, former CEO of Goldman Sachs, one of the "too-big-to-fails." Within days of the takeover, the number jumped into the trillions. This will put a "significant amount of taxpayers' money on the line," he said.
Quick & Clean
In simple language, with cameras rolling, in broad daylight, the American public was robbed blind. This wasn't a magic show. There were no hidden tricks or sleights of hand. "We want this to be clean, we want this to be quick," demanded the Economic Czar.
"We need to get this done quickly, and the cleaner the better," intoned President Bush, with the urgency of his "smoking gun that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud" logic he used as a pretext to invade Iraq. "The risk of not acting would be far higher," Bush said, promising to "work with Congress to get a bill done quickly."
Having accurately forecast the current financial debacle, we confidently now forecast that taking swift action will prove - as it did in Iraq - far more catastrophic than allowing Wall Street to suffer the consequences of its greed and mismanagement.
Americans were told they would have to pay to rescue the very companies whose unregulated greed, fraud and recklessness had created the crisis in the first place. Considered "nobodies" by the authorities, the people had no voice and had no choice.
"I know of nobody who is arguing over the amount of money or even about that the secretary ought to have the authority to purchase these toxic instruments, these bad debts,'' bowed Senator Christopher Dodd, the Democratic chairman of the Banking Committee.
Publisher's Note: Call your newspaper, radio and TV stations. Talk to reporters covering the "DC Heist." Tell them what you think and what you want. Write editorials. Use the Internet as a call to action. Use your imagination, wits and common sense to have your voice heard and make your will known. Until Congress votes on the plan, it is not yet a fait accompli. Tell them if they vote "yes," you'll vote "no."
Trendpost: While the transfer of "toxic instruments" from private firms to the national debt will enrich those companies that once had owned them, the measures taken will do nothing to keep the sinking US economy from going under.
The biggest casualty, besides indentured American servants held responsible for paying off the debt, is the US dollar. The greenback's getting slaughtered on the foreign exchanges and gold prices, the safe-haven commodity, are once again soaring. As we previously forecast, we are still predicting "Gold $2000."