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Earth to McCain: It’s a Crisis

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Posted on Sep 16, 2008
McCain and Gramm
AP photo / Douglas Healey

In this Feb. 3 photo, former Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas, looks on as Sen. John McCain addresses a campaign rally at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn.

By Robert Scheer

Gag me with a spoon, as Valley girls used to say. Did you see that McCain-Palin ad promising “tougher rules on Wall Street to protect your life savings, no special interest giveaways”? Just how dumb do they think we are?

Seriously, 20 minutes of Google searches should be sufficient to convince all but the dimwits among us that John McCain has been a master of the special-interest giveaways to Wall Street that enabled this meltdown. He voted for abolishing all of the significant rules put in place at the time of the Great Depression designed to prevent a repeat. The two main bills accomplishing that, bills which McCain enthusiastically supported, were the Commodity Futures Modernization Act and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. The Gramm is former Sen. Phil Gramm, who was chair of the Senate Banking Committee when he acted as chief sponsor of both pieces of legislation. The same Gramm that McCain picked to co-chair his presidential campaign.

Gramm proved an embarrassment when he cavalierly insisted there was no real crisis but only the panic of “whiners,” but even on Monday as his “Crisis” ad ran, McCain, in person, was still denying that there was one. “The fundamentals of our economy are strong,” he told NBC’s Matt Lauer, as two more of the nation’s most venerable financial institutions crashed and the stock market shed more than 500 points. When a perplexed Lauer asked McCain to square his optimism with his own ad’s use of the crisis word, McCain came to his senses and, discovering his inner Karl Marx, insisted he hadn’t been speaking of the bankers but rather was saying “that the workers of America are the fundamentals of the economy.”

OK, but never heard that from him before, as he consistently carried water for the bankers going back to his supporting role in the savings and loan scandal, a harbinger of the consequences of a severely deregulated financial market that McCain still favors. Nor did he worry then about the workers who lost their savings while McCain’s wife made a million in profit from her deal with Charles Keating, the banker for whom McCain lobbied. Even on Tuesday, while McCain suddenly was thundering against the “unbridled corruption and greed that caused the crisis on Wall Street,” he still did not urge anything more stringent than convening a national commission.

Barack Obama has been way ahead of McCain in grasping the severity of the problem and back in March offered a scorching criticism of the deregulation mania, in particular the Gramm-Leach-Bliley law, which allowed the stockbrokers, insurance companies and banks to merge for the first time since the 1930s, ushering in this era of irresponsibility. But that was in the primaries, and now he has turned for advice to Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers, who both served as treasury secretaries in the Clinton administration and talked the president into signing that wretched legislation.

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As recently as Jan. 31, Rubin, by then Citigroup’s executive committee chair, was, like McCain until Tuesday, still in denial on the meltdown, insisting it was merely “all part of a cycle of periodic excess leading to periodic disruption.” Fortunately, at that time he was an adviser to Hillary Clinton and remained so past March 27, when Obama delivered his main economic speech blaming for the meltdown the Gramm deregulation that Rubin had helped make law. Referring to the repeal of the Depression-era regulations, Obama stated all too correctly: “Unfortunately, instead of establishing a 21st century regulatory framework, we simply dismantled the old one—aided by a legal but corrupt bargain in which campaign money all too often shaped policy and watered down oversight. In doing so, we encouraged a winner-take-all, anything-goes environment that helped foster devastating dislocations in our economy.”

Not devastating for Rubin and Citigroup, where Rubin went to work, and which was a leader in that $300-million lobbying effort and the first huge beneficiary of the new law that permitted a merger with Travelers Insurance that previously had been illegal.

So, yes, there is a world of difference between Obama and McCain on the main issue that now challenges the American way of life, in which people’s homes, retirement, kids’ college education and all other dreams are threatened by a mindless deregulation led by the Republicans but which too many influential Democrats supported. What Obama needs to do, both to win and to help save the country, is denounce the whole lot of those scoundrels from both parties and rediscover his populist voice.

Robert Scheer is author of a new book, “The Pornography of Power: How Defense Hawks Hijacked 9/11 and Weakened America.”

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.



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Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, September 21, 2008 at 12:02 am Link to this comment

Re Outraged, September 20 at 10:01 pm

Outraged,

Fine, stay pure, but the price is political impotence. If Nader ever did get anywhere near the Presidency which is much less likely than being struck by lightning he would probably start compromising like Obama and you would have to repudiate him too.

Report this
Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, September 20, 2008 at 11:01 pm Link to this comment

Thank “god” for “ABSOLUTE PURITY”, what we do without that.  Well, for one we might endorse a candidate, who wants to BOMB Pakistan, strategically of course, but let’s not be sentimental…. c’mon folks…these are only “terrorists”, the fact that they are children has “nothing to do with it”.

Thank “god” for the fact that I, yes *I*, am soooo pure that I think, voting away the RIGHTS guaranteed to the CITIZENS OF AMERICA, passe…. thank “god” for that.

Thank “god” for the fact that I feel, undermining the separation of church and state, MINOR…. cause otherwise…, I just might… you know BE PISSED!

Thank “god” for the fact that I am in fact SO PURE as to ACTUALLY BELIEVE that FELONS, should be in jail.  In fact, I AM SO PURE, that I believe that those whose SUPPORT and help to aggrandize the position that this was minor infraction…. are…well…only “leaning” right.

I am SO PURE, that I think laissez faire capitalism AND THOSE WHO SUPPORT IT wonderful, since otherwise, I “might” feel that this undermines the sovereignty of the America as a nation, and AGAINST her people as a whole.

“GOD”, I’m just soooo PURE.  I’m damn near a VIRGIN.  My purity is without measure….. and my candidate the “AUDACITY OF HOPE” ..... yep…he sure is…  That’s me the epitome of purity.  Not like those NADER yokels, who ACTUALLY “happen” to “think” there’s such a thing as law and order…or RIDICULOUSLY call for justice.

What a bunch of dumb-asses.  Let’s attempt to ridicule the hell out of them.  So WHAT if our pick fucked us over… WHO CARES…?  We need to save face…WE need to win….Didn’t I give the “Audacity of Facts” money…?

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Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, September 20, 2008 at 9:43 am Link to this comment

By cyrena, September 18 at 8:23 pm #

Nope, nope, nope. We’ve got our eyes wide open here, (it’s a by-product of being terrorized for nearly 8 years) so we know what we need, and we know that Obama can do it. Since you and I aren’t running, then Obama/Biden is the next best choice. 
——————————————————————————-
cyrena,

We could always do what the Green/Nader/Peace and Freedom folks do, and write ourselves in on November in the spirit of absolute purity. This is the only way to refuse to compromise in any way. 

Come to think of it, I change my mind and compromise with myself all the time, so that won’t work either!

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By cyrena, September 19, 2008 at 2:29 pm Link to this comment

truthreader,

Why continue to live in a delusional state when reality really is the only hope?

It’s the partisan-cult mentality that has us where we are now. That’s why I’ve always voted person rather than party.

You’re wasting your time trying to compare Obama with Bill Clinton, especially since 8 years of Dick Cheney’s neocons have a way of making some folks look back on the Clinton days with fond nostalgia. (I don’t but many do).

Sorry truthreader. Barack Obama is NOT Bill Clinton, and most of us can figure that out easily enough. We don’t have to be rocket scientists for that. We don’t have to be geniuses to see that so far, the Greens have nothing to offer. It’s not anymore complicated than that.

Maybe the Greens will use the time to actually organize a movement that can put some accomplished and promising leaders on their ticket.

Good Luck.

Obama/Biden 08

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By truthreader3, September 19, 2008 at 2:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To cryena and Tony Wicher,

Your hopes about Obama is just wishful thinking.
You see what you are looking for and not what is out
there. If Obama wins you will be greatly disappointed. As I said do you remember Bill clinton!!??
Vote for the Greens to start the journey toward
REAL change. Electing another Rupublican who call
himself a Democrat will not do even if he wins.
And I doubt that he will win. Why vote for imitation
Republican when you have the real thing to vote for.

Report this

By cyrena, September 18, 2008 at 9:23 pm Link to this comment

By Tony Wincher

truthreader,

I do not know anyone who equates Obama with the second coming - although, compared with what we have had for eight years, you can almost see the aura.

~~~~~~~

Thanks Tony, I was about to respond the very same way, except for almost seeing the aura. (nice touch though).

No, we don’t see Obama as any seconding coming, and for those who’ve never witnessed a FIRST coming, (I haven’t) it wouldn’t be the least bit appropriate to consider a second, now would it?

Nope, nope, nope. We’ve got our eyes wide open here, (it’s a by-product of being terrorized for nearly 8 years) so we know what we need, and we know that Obama can do it. Since you and I aren’t running, then Obama/Biden is the next best choice. smile

Speaking of which…where is Louise? I miss her. I wanna make sure she didn’t have some sort of an emergency anywhere near a Wal-Mart. If anybody has heard from her, please let me know.

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Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, September 18, 2008 at 9:03 pm Link to this comment

By truthreader3, September 18 at 1:04 pm #
(Unregistered commenter)

A lot of people equate Obama with the second comming.
——————————————————————————-
truthreader,

I do not know anyone who equates Obama with the second coming - although, compared with what we have had for eight years, you can almost see the aura. Here’s the way I see him: Obama is a practical politician, like Bill Clinton, who will do what is politically practical. I think he is both more progressive and more principled than Clinton, will compromise less and do more to move the country forward. Also, the time is right -  Clinton had to deal with a Republican congress. With luck, Obama will have a filibuster-proof Democratic majority to work with. Still, I’m sure he’s going to disappoint a lot of purists on the Left.

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By libertarian, September 18, 2008 at 6:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The McCains have not been conned by mkt manipulators, simply becaues the wealthy don’t have to take risk. A simple cash money-market for someone investing more than 10mil in an acct pays around 1.5% more than you or I can get. So, even with today’s crappy interest rates, 50 million dollars in a McCain money-market account will earn the spritely couple $2million a year…I think that’s something like $40thousand-per-week without doing anything more than taking your bran flakes every morning. The rest of the work-horses, like you Democrats, try to get by with semisafe 3%bonds and an equal investment in stocks.
Inflation (my numbers) was ten times the bond return last year and stocks have become less useful than a playing blackjack at an average table. The regulatory fraud is systemic. Every day there’s a big bump in the market I buy more short fund shares to do well on the next daily decline. I’m using the pimco short SP but there are many similar bear-funds and market-short etf’s out there. Just watch the expenses charged..don’t let them charge more than 1.4% annual fund expenses.

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By Fahrenheit 451, September 18, 2008 at 6:01 pm Link to this comment

It seems the Bush administration has just finished hobbling the next administration.  The next president will come into office crippled with debt, war, and a nation of unemployed leaving little room for reform.  The republicans have effectively guaranteed there will be no health care plan.  It will be a decade, maybe never, before this country will recover from this rolling disaster.  I wonder if we will ever stop behaving like victims?

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By ultrabop, September 18, 2008 at 4:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

...for allowing the Supreme Court to install the numb skull Bush into the Office he had no business being in,

...for allowing Karl Rove to manipulate the election process like a Mafia Don at a church picnic…

...for allowing neo-cons to take over the pentagon…

...for allowing dick Chaney to take over the White House…

...for allowing Don Rumsfeld to bullshit constantly

...for buying $500,000 homes in shitty neighborhoods

...for working McJobs, while the CEOs are shipping the real jobs to India…

...for allowing CEOs to take million dollar bonuses

...for allowing the press to sit on their hands while rome burned

...for allowing Clinton to de-regulate the media

...for allowing Bush to dismantle the country…

...for allowing Barbara Bush to look at us with her snotty snear…

...for not taking it to the streets!

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By KDelphi, September 18, 2008 at 3:27 pm Link to this comment

I see now that you were being sarcastic, troublesum. I agree. Too bad there is no inflection in email. And I dont mean “emoti-cons”.

Sure the “crisis” is over for the rich. They always knew it wouldnt hit them. The govt always protects them.

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By troublesum, September 18, 2008 at 3:20 pm Link to this comment

But they have an “entity” which is going to take over their bad debts.  The entity is the American taxpayer.  The one’s making less than $250,000 a year.  Problem solved.

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By KDelphi, September 18, 2008 at 3:16 pm Link to this comment

troublesum—“The Dow went up 400 points”?? S t f what. And it will go down again, probably about 400 points , within the next week. This is not REALLy a ‘crisis”. It is more hte expected outcome of “capitalism GONE WILD!”

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By troublesum, September 18, 2008 at 3:01 pm Link to this comment

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3683270

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By troublesum, September 18, 2008 at 2:56 pm Link to this comment

The crisis is over.  Numbers were shifted around on a page.  The government will take over the bad debt of the banks.  The dow went up 400 points.

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By truthreader3, September 18, 2008 at 2:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A lot of people equate Obama with the second comming.
May I remind those people that Bill Clinton ran on
populist platform and against NAFTA. Immediately
after winnig he shoved NAFTA down our throats. And
guess who deregualated the banks and finacial markets? That was Bill Clinton with the help of Rubin in 1999!!
Obama got more campaign contributions from Wall St.
than what McCain got
There is no REAL difference between Obama and McCain.
Both of them are war-mongers and beholden to big Money/Business. None of them will bring any real change.
Vote for the Green Party, It has the start for a viable third party. Yes, the road will be long and hard, but that is the only road to REAL CHANGE.

Report this

By yours truly, September 18, 2008 at 12:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

An Obama Landslide Victory Will Do It For Us

“Why?”

“We’ll know that yes we can.”

“And Obama?”

“He’s known this all along.”

“And then what sort of world?”

“It’ll be up to us.”

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By KDelphi, September 18, 2008 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment

Deb—anyone who blames just one of the “great variety of parties” that we can choose from, is delusional. The de-regulation started (with great gusto) under Reagan. It accelerated from there.

I dont think, too many people would defend Clinton (you guys didnt do a thing to stop that stuff—you were just concerned about his sex life. While Gingrich et al did not bother to mind their own). Anyone who stil defends McCain or Bush on this one (who have become on in the same) is delusional.

Why demand an investigation, since yu already “know” its all Dems?? Lets HAVE an investigation. Also into Minerals Mgmt. I dont give a damn if they throw everyone in both houses (as long as they takeht epresidem)out of DC.

And when the “Contract with Am” came into power—it made it al better, huh?

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By cyrena, September 18, 2008 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment

Jackpine Savage

You’re right that they’re intertwined, but then they always have been, and that much is my area of particular interest. (note I didn’t say ‘expertise’ because I’m not an expert – at least not yet).

There are thousands of examples of constitutional crises throughout history, because the economy has always been directly connected to the constitution and again, from the beginning. Slavery was about economics, because the economy depended on it. So, some of the major CC’s have been centered on that. One excellent, (yet complicated) example was the Missouri Compromise.

Anyway, it’s a fascinating field, (if one is actually interested in how this stuff connects) and I’ve put a couple of ‘simple’ links here from Wikipedia, just as a general sort of connection…There is even better stuff in my files and on line, but I’d have to dig for it. Still, for just a matter of general knowledge, and as a starting point, these can kind of kick things off.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missouri_Compromise

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dred_Scott

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitutional_crisis

http://www.thenation.com/blogs/thebeat?pid=49140

We’ve offered some excellent courses in Constitutional Law here at my institution, and I say excellent because they do more than just regurgitate case law and decisions, but delve into the politics of it, as well as the repercussions that most of us don’t really have any reason to consider.

Constitutional legal scholars and historians of the next hundred years or so (if we last that long) will have TONS of material to wrap themselves around, just from the past 8 years. It’s been one never ending Constitutional Crisis, beginning with the appointment of the Gangster Cabal back in Dec of 2000, to the highest office(s) in the land.

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By Deb, September 18, 2008 at 7:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Look it up people! Clinton signed off on it and the trough has been full every since filling their democratic cronies pockets. Sure you can blame Wall Street, but if you follow the money and you will find Fannie and Freddie at the trough sucking the life out of the global economy. McCain asked in 05 for regulatory oversight and was pushed back by dems who had their hands in the till. I personally demand an investigation into all who were paid off by Fannie and Freddie. You will find the top of the list is FULL OF DEMOCRATES! Two of which are now Obamas top economic advisors. Go figure! By reading this thread I am convinced this country is being run by a bunch of emotional brats in Congress who can’t think for themselves and blame their own blatant mistakes on others and then leave on break (again) because they have no clue what this country is really made of or how to lead in a time of crisis. This time they should just stay home.

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By Fahrenheit 451, September 18, 2008 at 7:08 am Link to this comment

Truly, this is the silly season: The election, the economy, the crashing economy, unemployment, hurricane Ike/Katrina, Iraq, Iran, Georgia, and so many other distractions.  It seems to me we can do nothing about any of these things, but, we can make decisions about our own lives.  Isn’t this what we need to concentrate on?  This corrupt, beyond belief government, would keep us believing we make a difference!  Do you really believe you matter at all?  You are not a bazillionaire, so who really gives a shit what you/we think?  Sorry, rhetorical question; but the answer is…no one!

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By David, September 18, 2008 at 6:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Your help is needed.  If you’re ready for change, please share this video with all of your family and friends.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EM58nqX1ehE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VN_pGy_1bEg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bD0iAQN7VPY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpfHz_WeXHw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QH9BtZwTyHo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWVGsuNecYg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UssvnQMn-EM


Go to youtube and do a search for “thinkverybig” and watch all of those videos.  The one called “We Must Change” would be fitting to recite at Obama’s Inauguration.

Here’s a community organizer that’s reached out to over 20,000 youth and has a goal of touching a million by teaching them the game of life using the game of chess. Click below to watch video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLFENGymr34

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Purple Girl's avatar

By Purple Girl, September 18, 2008 at 6:02 am Link to this comment

Or as We say in MI - Bag ‘em Tag ‘em and gut ‘em.
This economic ‘Drain circling’ has been happening since the Repugs took over Congress in ‘94.
did ya miss the Sucker lure of ‘Day Trading’ which conned people into thinking they could invest and control their futures- What a ‘Get Rich Quick Scheme’ that was. About as ethical as telling Granny to send in her Pension check to Cornerstone Church!
Who did not recognize the ‘Too Good to be True’ Pay Only Interest Home mortages? who did not recognize that the equity in a home should not double in a few short years? How hasn’t figured out the Surplus we had after Clinton was squandered and our subsequential loans have been from Foreign Countries ( China & Saudi Arabia) Who hasn’t figured out 9/11 was an atttack on the MIC and not US. Who hasn’t deducted such actions in the M.E. Only benefits the Multinational Oil Corps and their Foreign Sponsors?
Who hasn’t recognized that every conflict being instigated is within the range of Oil Deposits?
Who hasn’t reconginzed the FACT We Will NEVER be Energy Independent Until WE Own Our Own Energy Resources? Nor will wil have a FREE Market until Corp Control is elimiated?
What Dumbasses Still think this Organized Crime Syndicate care a Damn about American Patriotism or Her viablity in the future?
TREAON, WAR CRIMES AND CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY!!!
FYI Benedict Arnold was also a Military man, but his crimes Pale next to McCains Complicity! Anthrax came from Iraq- Lying SOB, HE Helped facilitate this Illegal War and the resulting Gutting of America!
I don’t want ot see McCain running a campaign, unless it is to save his ass from Hanging for his part in these High Crimes!

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By cogswellcogs, September 18, 2008 at 5:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Or perhaps, have chosen to ignore it. It is a bigger scandal than Enron! And many democrat Senators and Cronies are very much entwined. ?!?!?  :(

McCain warned of the coming mortgage crisis as he pressed in 2005 for regulatory reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

“For years I have been concerned about the regulatory structure that governs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – known as government-sponsored entities or GSEs – and the sheer magnitude of these companies and the role they play in the housing market,” McCain said on the floor of the Senate in 2005, speaking in favor of the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005.

McCain pointed out Fannie Mae’s regulator had stated the company’s quarterly reports of profit growth over the past few years were “illusions deliberately and systematically created” by the company’s senior management, which resulted in a $10.6 billion accounting scandal.

The bill passed the House but was never brought up for a vote in the Senate, largely because of Democratic opposition to change in the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac regulatory structure that remained in place until the Treasury takeover two weeks ago.

As evidenced by the failure to pass the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, the Democrats in Congress have repeatedly fought back Republican Party efforts to reform the two mortgage banking giants.

Instead, Democrats in Congress have sought to preserve the quasi-governmental status of the mortgage giants, seeing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as places to locate former top Democratic Party operatives, where they have earned millions in compensation, despite a continuing series of financial scandals. Enron-like accounting manipulation, for example, boosted earnings to a level at which massive executive bonuses could be paid.

In the aftermath of the U.S. government takeover, attention has focused on three Democrats with close ties to Obama who served as Fannie Mae executives: Franklin Raines, former Clinton administration budget director; James Johnson, former aide to Democratic Vice President Walter Mondale; and Jamie Gorelick, former Clinton administration deputy attorney general.

All three Obama-related executives earned millions in compensation from Fannie Mae.

Try some research! Instaed of being spoon-fed from biased people!

cogswell

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By jackpine savage, September 18, 2008 at 5:01 am Link to this comment

Cyrena,

I didn’t agree with everything in the piece either, but it did really make me think…and that’s what i’m looking for.

One question that i found myself asking is whether Newberry, when using the phrase “constitutional crises”, was referring to the document or our constitution…i.e. our make up.  Obviously, the two overlap.

His analysis of the underlying, economic mechanisms was what really got me.  That, and the way that those mechanisms tie our politics, economics, and environmental issues together.

Glad you enjoyed it…

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, September 18, 2008 at 4:46 am Link to this comment

If you’re in need of some entertainment, may I suggest trying to get a video of Meredith Vieira’s interview with one of my favorite right wing self-righteous knowitall neocon “virtues” spewing propagandists, the very Dr. Bill Bennett, on the Today Show this morning.

It must be a drag affiliating yourself with the repug debacle and then being questioned about it on national TV and having to fabricate yet more lies and bridge-to-nowhere-rationalizations to support your candidate, who underneath it all, you probably think is an idiot.

Guys like Bennett make me very glad, flawed as I am, that I’m me.  Maybe he should try a little lipstick.

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By freods, September 18, 2008 at 4:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why no mention of Barney Frank?  He used his powerful commitee position to strongarm banks into changing qualification criteria for mortgage loans in the absurd socialist belief that everyone is entitled to a house whether they can afford it or not.  So now that all these people who under previous qualification criteria would not have been given a loan are defaulting Barney Frank is nowhere to be seen.  In a hilarious ironic twist semi rich people used the lower loan qualification standards to load up on million dollar condos they couldnt afford and when the loan went upside down in the real estate deflation they walked away.  Hey, Barney, man up and take the heat.

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By cyrena, September 18, 2008 at 2:12 am Link to this comment

Jackpine,

Thanks so much for the link. This is an excellent piece. I’ve zapped it into a PDF with my handy little pdf tool, which will allow for me to go though it again more completely, and mark it accordingly. I don’t agree with all of it, not even close. BUT, this much of it is very true, and it’s at the foundation of everything…

“..This is why our present crisis is a constitutional crisis. It is not a crisis of finance as such, but a crisis of the governing mandate…”

It IS a CONSTITUTIONAL crisis!!!! But, it’s not the first Constitutional crises, and we’ve failed, (or the politicians have failed) because of the failure to govern, based on the principles embodied in the Constitution.

Tony Wincher points to this in some of his recent posts as well, just in terms of regulation. I’m willing to put 99% of the blame for current CRASH conditions on the heads of those who have failed to govern according to the Constitution.

The undermining of regulatory control is absolutely the same as the trashing of the rule of law. And, deregulation marked the beginning of the end. We’re at the end.

Anyway, it’s late now, but I’d like to talk about some of this after I’ve had a chance to go through it another time or two, and combine it with other stuff that I’ve already worked though. So, more then.

Meantime, thanks again.

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By cyrena, September 18, 2008 at 1:25 am Link to this comment

Janic P writes:

•  “…When Obama is president, I will get to blame you and all the other supporters for the mess he creates….”

For the mess HE creates????????????????????????

You’re kidding right? Pay much attention to what’s been going on these passed 7 or so years Janic P? Like, every time we think Dick Bush and the Gangster Cabal couldn’t do anything worse or even MORE insane….they DO!!!

So, you’ll actually be able to blame us for the mess HE creates??????? What type ‘mess’ might that be? We’re already in worse shape than we were in the Great Depression. Think he can beat that?

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By Scott, September 17, 2008 at 10:45 pm Link to this comment

“The fundamentals of our economy are strong,”

WTF is a fundamental of an economy anyway? Is this something the Large Hadron Collider will be trying to answer?

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By jackpine savage, September 17, 2008 at 8:04 pm Link to this comment

Cyrena,

I’m no economic guru either…i only know enough to scare me.  But i do know that i’m a “capitalist”, if only because there isn’t much else to be.  As i can’t find the will to believe that humans are more good than bad. (I figure us to be roughly equal of both out of the necessity of binary opposition…or you can’t have one without the other.)  Ideas like true socialism require more evolution than i think we have attained.

Capitalism and free markets do not, however, have to be fueled by untrammeled greed and blind avarice.  Yes, fair trade…which doesn’t mean equal, but to create the most benefit for the most people.

I believe strongly in the market, but when i say market, i mean the one where you buy your groceries.  Tangible goods produced by people; debt as debt; and long-term thinking regarding profit and sustainability.

Chasing quarterly profits and leveraging debt to make a bet cannot be the foundation of capitalism.  But the move from production to financial services is indicative of imperial decline, historically speaking.

There most certainly are very good economists, but i’d hardly put Ralph Nader to the task.  Numerian Rubelieni or even Amory Lovins come more to my mind.  My worry is that Obama suckles at the same teet as McCain out of political necessity.  Better, by far but still tied to the fundamental problem.

If you’re in for some thinking, i read this tonight and found it profound:

http://agonist.org/stirling_newberry/20080917/a_national_commonwealth

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By Fahrenheit 451, September 17, 2008 at 7:07 pm Link to this comment

This, by all measure, should be the last nail in the coffin of capitalism; but greed knows no bounds and there is still meat on the bones.

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By Tony Wicher, September 17, 2008 at 6:33 pm Link to this comment

By Janic P., September 17 at 12:22 pm #

“Rest assured that they will remain as incapable today as tomorrow. They have a very long track record to back that up!”
——————————————————————————-
Yeah? Strange, I remember the last time the Democrats were in power, the Clinton Administration, as eight years of peace and prosperity, relatively speaking at least. It is you Republicans, led by your drunken moron fratboy George W. Bush that have driven this country into the ditch. The people are about to punish you bigtime.

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By KDelphi, September 17, 2008 at 5:11 pm Link to this comment

Did anyone hear Sen. Sanders tonight? I tuned in to hear what they were saying about the impending collapse.

I simply do not understand why we cannot indict Gramm. WHY will the Copngress do nothing?? WHY does Phil Gramm get to leave the McCain campaign and , just go back to one of his many houses with his billions.

The is just an unjust oligarchy.

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By Tony Wicher, September 17, 2008 at 5:05 pm Link to this comment

Re Xntrk, September 17 at 1:46 pm #

re: Tony Wicher

I’ll give it to you that regulated capitalism works well as an economic system (from a socialist that’s a big give).  However, “It is not called ‘greed’ unless it is somehow excessive” rather leaves the door open for individual assessment of what constitutes excessive, thus making greed a matter of opinion.

Capitalism as an economic system sucks. It was effective in an expanding universe that believed in White Supremacy at the cost of genocide and enslavement for Blacks, Browns, Reds, Yellows, and impoverished whites like the Irish and Italians.
——————————————————————————-
Xntrick,

This reminds me a bit about what Churchill said about democracy - that it was a horrible system, but still better than any other system that man has been able to devise. The same thing can be said about capitalism.

Unregulated capitalism has all the defects that you attribute to it - sweatshops, imperialism, etc. But as capitalism evolves, it gets regulated to ameliorate or prevent all these problems. To regulate capitalism is to make it more socialist. Capitalism regulated by an honest democratic government in the interest of the people as a whole IS socialism. There is no other socialism and never will be.

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By Tony Wicher, September 17, 2008 at 4:56 pm Link to this comment

By Janic P., September 17 at 12:22 pm #
(Unregistered commenter)

“Economists Favor Obama”

You forgot to mention that the majority of the “economists” in that report are Obama supporters! It’s called a biased report in case you didn’t know.

And Mr. Tony Wicher,
It does not matter who was in charge of congress before they were. The fact is that they are in charge NOW and they are incapable of getting anything done.
——————————————————————————-
Janic,

Actully, the Democratic congress has not been able to accomplish much since November 2006 because Republicans have blocked everything and Bush has wielded the veto pen. What we Democrats need besides the Presidency is a filibuster-proof majority in both houses. With you Republicans out of the way, we can get get something done. If things don’t improve after four years, THEN you can blame us.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, September 17, 2008 at 4:32 pm Link to this comment

Blackspeare:

Thanks for that.  You know, I detest plagiarists.  And I detest commie plagiarists even more.  I used to respect Gorby. I’m looking up his e-mail even as I write.

Seriously, isn’t this a remarkable, exciting time in our history?

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By thedailymccain, September 17, 2008 at 3:54 pm Link to this comment

unbelievable. McCain talk about the economic crisis in this video blog released by his campaign.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvZ1xgphalc

or go to thedailymccain dot com

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By Rafe Pilgrim, September 17, 2008 at 3:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

He evokes memories of Herbert Hoover, but at less than 50% of the intelligence.
.
I often wonder why we are so quick to leap upon a politician’s principles rather than upon his intelligence.  It would clear up a lot of the muddy analysis to frankly state the truth that persons such as Bush and McCain lack the basic intelligence to be president.

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By Blackspeare, September 17, 2008 at 2:57 pm Link to this comment

Dr. Knowitall…

Your post reminds me of a saying that has been attributed to Gorbachev during his run to reform the USSR; “If not us then who?” “If not now then when?”

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By Xntrk, September 17, 2008 at 2:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

felicity, re: Tony Wicher

>>I’ll give it to you that regulated capitalism works well as an economic system (from a socialist that’s a big give).  However, “It is not called ‘greed’ unless it is somehow excessive” rather leaves the door open for individual assessment of what constitutes excessive, thus making greed a matter of opinion. (Actually, the old 90 plus percent tax rate on huge incomes was a built-in limit on excessive.)<<

Capitalism as an economic system sucks. It was effective in an expanding universe that believed in White Supremacy at the cost of genocide and enslavement for Blacks, Browns, Reds, Yellows, and impoverished whites like the Irish and Italians.

What short memories people who slept thru World History 101 have!

Capitalism is based on an ownership class that must be free to use the peasants and producers of goods however they want. How they go about it changes: When chains and whips are outlawed, Opium and rut gut are approved.

Sweatshops, shake-downs, shape-ups, and cattle-calls, where workers compete for the right to an ever lower wage, are ok if it means a higher GNP and more money for the Capitalist.

A couple of the greatest propaganda coups of the last century are that we can all get rich on the stock market: capitalism light for everyone. What a crock.

The second lie was that a continuing expansion of the economy was possible with a steadily declining reserve of basic commodities. This one has led to Global Warming, Peak Oil, and a lack of jobs [Duh].

The Latin Socialists are still discussing the basic problem of Communism/Socialism: If everyone is provided for, how do you motivate the workers.

The USSR foundered on that question early on, with the decision to uproot the peasants and institute the state farms with no private enterprise allowed.

Fidel tried the No Private Enterprise, and rapidly gave it up when the USSR died. He did not uproot the farmers however - except for the huge plantations owned by the wealthy. I don’t remember the exact figures, but the Bay of Pigs invaders represented a huge amount of land holdings they wanted back - There were about 1000 of them against an entire country.

So, NO! Capitalism is not a successful economic system, unless that is, that you are a believer in the exploitation of the many by a wealthy few…

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By rsmatesic, September 17, 2008 at 2:38 pm Link to this comment

“So, yes, there is a world of difference between Obama and McCain on the main issue that now challenges the American way of life, in which people’s homes, retirement, kids’ college education and all other dreams are threatened by a mindless deregulation led by the Republicans but which too many influential Democrats supported . . . .”

Bob, enough with the ideological rants.  Not only has Obama turned to Rubin and Summers for advice, his current full-time economic adviser is another Rubin disciple, Jason Furman, who among other things thinks that WalMart has been a net boon to low income folks, despite overwhelming evidence that, among other things, it drives down the wages of working people. 

Sorry, but when the self-declared change agent is drinking the same radical free market kool-aid of guys like Rubin, Summers, and Furman, the evidence for a “world of difference” is pretty thin.

And what’s with your half-hearted suggestion that Bill Clinton needed to be convinced by Rubin and Summers to sign Gramm-Leach-Bliley, and thereby authorize banks to play dice with the single-most valuable asset that most people own, their homes?  During his administration, Clinton, like a lot of Congressional Dems, was in thrall to Wall Street.  The man hardy needed to be convinced of what he was predisposed to do, namely, cough up whatever his corporate sponsors demanded of him, be it affirmative enactments (e.g., NAFTA; tax breaks for the rich and super-rich) or rollbacks (the aforementioned G/L/B, which repealed Glass-Steagall; eviscerating FDA, NHTSA, OSHA, and other federal agencies; cutting fuel efficiency standards; etc.).

As for Obama, please name one thing that he will actually do that would demonstrate that he holds the interests of working people higher than those of the multi-millionaires and billionaires who own and run the finance, insurance, and real estate sectors of our economy, and whose high priests are among his closest advisers.  If you can’t do that, might it be because the values you ascribe to the candidate say more about you (and your Rorschach tendencies) than they do about him?

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By cyrena, September 17, 2008 at 2:11 pm Link to this comment

•  “Cyrena, i’m not sure that who else Obama could have advising him on economic matters…though there must be someone.  It sure seems like the Chicago school has a stranglehold on both political parties.”

Jackpine,

Since posting last night, I see there have been several suggestions. Felicity suggests Robert Reich. I don’t know of him myself, but that isn’t a surprise at all. As I’ve said many times, my own knowledge of economic systems is very much limited to basic theory, and the fundamentals. In other words, it is NOT an area where I would claim any advanced knowledge. (But I bet I know more than McCain or Palin).

But, I trust Felicity’s judgment on this, and I’m sure there are probably others as well. That’s the whole thing about administrative leadership. One person can never know all of this stuff in-depth, so it means having the extensive judgment and intelligence to choose the right people for the right functions.

Troublesum mentioned Nader, Naomi Klein, and somebody named Doug Hernwood. I don’t know of Hernwood either, but Naomi is a brilliant sociologist, (which does involved extensive knowledge of economic systems) and Nader is an attorney, as well as a social activist like Naomi. Both would be great additions, (except that Nader can’t work with anybody unless he’s calling all of the shots and everyone accepts his ‘way’ without compromise) but there must be many others.

In fact, there’s a recent Nobel Peace Prize winner whose name temporarily escapes me, who is brilliant in microeconomics, which is not unlike what Obama’s mother’s work involved. It certainly wouldn’t hurt to include such subcategories in any over all advisory board.

What I’ve discovered from reading these forums, (and Felicity points this out as well) is that many people seem to miss the fact that while capitalism and this culture of greed are intricately related, capitalism as a stand alone system can and has worked, when others have failed. “Trade” is fundamental to any system, but it’s the FREE (unregulated) trade as opposed to FAIR trade, (and specifically in terms of a global economy) that has crushed the society at large, and created the free fall that we are currently experiencing. The complaints against the capitalist system are centuries old. The truth is that this country was founded on a capitalist system, and there has yet to be another system proven to work.

That’s not to say that another system could NOT work, and I’m a pretty hard-core socialist myself. Still, the reality is that countries where socialism has been attempted, have not proven to fair all that well. (yes, I know there are exceptions to everything).

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By 1TWENTY1, September 17, 2008 at 1:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

McCain’s economic plan:  Marry wealth.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, September 17, 2008 at 1:49 pm Link to this comment

@ Janice P:

You wrote,“What exactly makes you think that Owama is going to challenge the Democrat status quo? They have had the last several years to do something, change something, hell just put in an honest days work. They have done absolutely nothing.”

We’re looking at the possibility of a Democratic WH, a Democratic Senate and House, filibuster-proof, a perfect storm for liberally-minded people.

Here’s what I believe.  With that perfect storm all being led by Obama, a “closet common man”, there is the possibility that the pendulum which has been swinging far too far and for far too long in the direction of the aristcrats in this country may finally head back in the other direction.  It’s only fair, and—very American.

Come on board!  History is being written!  Be a part!

This is class warfare and a revolution for egalitarianism!!  If it isn’t today, it’ll be tomorrow. 
And I’m not shi*in’ ya!

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By 1twenty1, September 17, 2008 at 1:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

WHERE ARE WE GOING?  AND WHY ARE WE IN THIS HANDBASKET?

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By Ara Baghdoyan, September 17, 2008 at 1:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As a recipient of Citigroup’s job cuts earlier this year, I have closely witnessed how dramatically $300 million lobbying can do to an industry. Rubin & Co. had this utopic vision that everyone will be playing nicely in the sand box. Not even close…If you ask me, “hang ‘em all”.

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By Janic P., September 17, 2008 at 1:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Economists Favor Obama”

You forgot to mention that the majority of the “economists” in that report are Obama supporters! It’s called a biased report in case you didn’t know.

And Mr. Tony Wicher,
It does not matter who was in charge of congress before they were. The fact is that they are in charge NOW and they are incapable of getting anything done. When Obama is president, I will get to blame you and all the other supporters for the mess he creates. I can already hear you trying to justify the political failures of your party the same way the republicans do today.

Rest assured that they will remain as incapable today as tomorrow. They have a very long track record to back that up!

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By troublesum, September 17, 2008 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment

Herbie McBlind and his pal Phil Hoover.

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By Caryl S. Foster, September 17, 2008 at 1:18 pm Link to this comment

The truth is that Senator McCain and his campaign choose their okie doke ads very carefully as in focused negative attacks strictly aimed at turning the national and media focus and discussion away from real issues such as education, energy, foreign policy, and most recently the state of our economy.

The truth is the same old okie doke as in Senator McCain’s chief economic advisor Phil Gramm, the architect of the 1999 Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. The Republican Senator Gramm sponsored legislative bill that effectively repealed the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 which had established the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in the United States and included banking regulations designed to control speculation. The author of the legislation deregulating the financial investment industry that is now in meltdown due to the lack of regulation.

The same old same old “deregulator” Phil Gramm who earlier this year, as Senator McCain’s chief economic advisor, labeled Americans as “whiners” about the economy just suffering from a “mental recession” and is surely the sad author of Senator McCain’s too often repeated out-of-touch refrain that “the fundamentals of our economy are strong” despite all evidence to the contrary.

The same old same old Senator McCain best friend Phil Gramm still seen today whispering economic policies in Senator McCain’s ear from the sidelines all the while ready to be made Secretary of the Treasury if the American Public buys Senator McCain’s old sick pig with new lipstick.

But sadder yet, it appears the America Public is falling for and may be ready to buy into the old okie doke same pig with new lipstick as in…..A self-professed “Deregulator” who is suddenly calling for government regulation….... A so called “reformer” who will not even reformed his own negative attack campaign….....The new found “agent of change” who will bring back to Washington and empower the same old lobbyists currently serving on his campaign ..... and the wannabe “New Populist” claiming he will fight for the American People despite never having voted in favor of an increase in the minimum wage for the American People.

Or are we? Despite the blitz of sad negativity from the McCain campaign, the issues of the economy refuse to be swept from view and thus are refocusing the American Public on the evident fact that Senator McCain indeed does not know “much about the economy” (as evidenced by the fact that he is calling for a 9/11 styled Economic Commission Study likely led by Phil Gramm).

As Senator Obama first stated (and of course since co-opted by Senator McCain as he has co-opted anything that works for Senator Obama), “Enough is Enough!”. Contrary to the McCain campaign sad smoke and mirrors ads and Senator McCain’s own okie doke moment-by-moment self-serving self-contradictory statements of “Change is Coming”, we will see more Americans seeing through them all….......

Looking For Real Change Not The Same Old McCain/Gramm Okie Doke!

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By troublesum, September 17, 2008 at 1:18 pm Link to this comment

Herbert McSame.  For three years after the crash of ‘29 Hoover went around saying everything was fine, no problem here, this is just part of a cycle, the market will rebound.

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By SteveL, September 17, 2008 at 12:58 pm Link to this comment

Financial and economic melt-down.  Anyone think the republicans will take responsibility for their mess?  How about “I don’t know much about economics”  McCain?.....Herbert Hoover McCain says the “Fundamentals are strong”.

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By BCC Meteorites, September 17, 2008 at 12:40 pm Link to this comment

I think McCain has very little clue about what an economy means much less how one functions. Just like I find it very difficult to see Phil Gramm as a scholar. He’s marginal on his best day. As we sit here and type the taxpayers are being sent to bail out yet another Republican created fiasco by deregulation(s). Banks and Insurers such as AIG. This is like asking NASA what it’s mission really is. To explore space they will say publicly but privately they will, “well its a jobs program for under-employed republicans and their spouses”.

http://www.bccmeteorites.com/misconduct-planetary.html

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By troublesum, September 17, 2008 at 12:21 pm Link to this comment

I would suggest Ralph Nader, Doug Henwood, and Naomi Klein as economic advisors for Obama.  He doesn’t have to look far if he wants an economy that works in the interests of ordinary people.
By the way, Frank Zappa’s daughter sang that song about the valley girls and it was “gag me with a fork” not a spoon not that it makes much difference.  It would be nice if Zappa were here today to say something about the political situation we are in.

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By annelieseessig, September 17, 2008 at 11:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The “deregulation” of the financials is due to the Republicans.  It is proving to be in the best interests of no one. Obama will have to juggle many competing interests.  However, since Bear Stears, Lehman, and Merrill cease to exist in their original form, I think all will agree more oversight is needed. 
This financial crisis may lead to the US$ no longer being the reserve currency of the world. Oil is also traded in US$, and so our position in the world may greatly change as a result of the current mess. Great job, dub-ya.

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By yours truly, September 17, 2008 at 11:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How Obama’s Rediscovering His Populist Voice Changed America

What happened was that as soon as Obama got back to the basics - “Change that’s not only believable but doable” and “Yes we can” - the public pressed the mute button on all the background noise and static (lipstick wearing and such)that was being thrown at them, thereby enabling Obama to get his message through loud and clear.  And once this happened….....

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By Calibpatriot, September 17, 2008 at 11:25 am Link to this comment

A short time ago Andrea Crane interviewed Jack Kemp, right-wing extremist and former House Representive from SoCal, about the economy.  He praised, of course, everything regarding McCain and Palin while thoroughly condemning all of Obama’s proposals, saying that they would lead us into a recession.  Now what, in the f*ck, do he and his fellow cockroaches think that we’re in right now with our economy in free fall.  It’s unbelievable how completely divorced from reality these neocons are.

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By Blackspeare, September 17, 2008 at 11:10 am Link to this comment

Well like we say down at the farm——“Wait till the chickens come home to roost.”  And they have.  The failure over the past several years of large corporations, investments banks, investment houses, and more recently the quasi-governmental agencies of Freddie and Fannie Mac and AIG didn’t happen overnight——-it took years of neglect and mismanagement whether planned or inadvertent.  It is a direct result of laissez-faire/free market thinking coupled with a privatization/deregulation mindset.  This really started in the Reagan years.

The housing melt-down is a result of applying affirmative action to the financial markets whereby people with little resources could acquire large mortgages hoping in the future, with a strong economy, they would improve their lot and be able to meet the increasing payments.  We all know what happened!

McCain tends to blame Wall Street greed, but that’s like blaming a lion for attacking a gazelle——-it’s in their genes!  The fault lies within the federal government for abandoning tried and true rules and regulations to prevent such abuses.  The question remains, was this foreseen with a devil may care pervasive attitude knowing that a shit-load of money will be made in a relatively short time and that all in all, in spite of people being hurt, the government would provide bailouts and the economy would recover in time.

Of course, this comes at a bad time for McCain who incidentally was for deregulation before he was against it!

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By felicity, September 17, 2008 at 10:55 am Link to this comment

re: Tony Wicher

I’ll give it to you that regulated capitalism works well as an economic system (from a socialist that’s a big give).  However, “It is not called ‘greed’ unless it is somehow excessive” rather leaves the door open for individual assessment of what constitutes excessive, thus making greed a matter of opinion. (Actually, the old 90 plus percent tax rate on huge incomes was a built-in limit on excessive.)

Adam Smith who started this whole thing depended on human greed to make laissez-faire capitalism work optimally.  (He also recognized potential abuses and warned against letting them happen - cartels, giant trusts and all that stuff.)

What really started me on this ‘greed’ kick was that shot of McCain (and his economic guru Gramm) complaining about greed on Wall Street when for years he’s supported legislation that fosters it - like any proper capitalist would? sorry, I just had to say it.

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By Leefeller, September 17, 2008 at 10:48 am Link to this comment

GW=MCHammered,

Interesting article, do not agree with some of it. What really is interesting and amusing at the same time ,  is the supposition Republicans are borne this way,  sort of like gays are borne to be gay.

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By Ives, September 17, 2008 at 10:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If this crisis keeps up and things really go boom, we are in a heap of trouble I do believe.

In the last Depression the U.S. was a net creditor nation. It had the largest oil reserves on the planet. It was an industrial powerhouse. Once the banking system collapsed (like it seems to be doing now) there was no money to do anything, yet all those productive assets remained. The country still had the oil, factories, etc. etc. We were a rich nation, which is partly what made the New Deal and all that post-war affluence possible.

The situation is very different now. The U.S. and its underpaid/overleveraged citizens are in debt up to the eyeballs. The country is no longer the world’s #1 oil producer. The nation’s industrial sector has been pretty much hollowed out except for the arms industry. The cupboard is pretty close to bare in other words. Were Roosevelt to reappear, he’d be facing a very different situation. Think Weimar Germany.

Meanwhile the ‘free market’ disciples of Rand and Friedman, and the Treasury Secretary from Goldman Sachs are pillaging what’s left of the public purse and the good faith and credit of the U.S. government in a desperate attempt to keep the creators of Ponzi finance schemes up and running. But someone once said ‘that which cannot go on forever, won’t’, and I believe that applies to the Wall Street Casino, regardless of what the government does at this point.

We do live in very interesting times.

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By VietnamVet, September 17, 2008 at 10:38 am Link to this comment

“just how dumb do they think we are?”

Well, if the polls are right, there are a good portion of us that do appear to be quite dumb, as one poster pointed out, to have the two in a neck and neck race. Personally, I do not believe the polls are even near right. Thousands, if not millions, of the younger, first time voters, gave up home phones long ago. So, what the polls are digging into are the oldies (like me!), the seldom-leave-homers, stay home moms, etc. So, I believe the polls are wrong. But, as I said, if they are right, there IS a significant percentage of really dumb voters out there!

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By Tony Wicher, September 17, 2008 at 10:16 am Link to this comment

By Janic P., September 17 at 8:08 am #
(Unregistered commenter)

Oh it gets better. Here is a ling to a MSNBC/ Newsweek story praising Palin in 2007!
http://www.newsweek.com/id/42534/

Some of you keep referring to 4 more years of the same. What exactly makes you think that Owama is going to challenge the Democrat status quo?
—————————————————————————
Janic,

OK, you are obviously a Republican who has swallowed copious amounts of Rovian Kool Aid. “The Democrat status quo?????????”. Who has been in power for the last eight years, and 28 of the last 40? Who has ridden this country to ruin? Who has deregulated the banks and every other part of the economy leading to the current massive collapse? Republicans. That’s you I’m talking about.

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By Tony Wicher, September 17, 2008 at 10:01 am Link to this comment

By felicity, September 17 at 5:51 am #


Cyrena - Robert Reich to replace Rubin.

All this talk about greed gone wild is amusing since capitalism operates according to the profit creed of make all the money you can - preferably legally because time spent in jail is time spent not making money. 

So what exactly is ‘greed?’ Making as much profit as possible? Making money off the backs of other people? Those aren’t examples of greed, they’re how well functioning capitalism operates. Greed is ultimately what drives the engine of capitalism.
—————————————————————————
The desire to make money is the motivating force of capitalism. This desire is normal and natural and we all have it. It is not called “greed” unless it is somehow excessive. There are good capitalists and bad ones, greedy ones and socially responsible ones, intelligent ones and stupid short-sighted ones. If all capitalists were socially responsible we wouldn’t need to regulate the market. If all people were socially responsible we wouldn’t need laws. But that’s not how it is. We have laws for people who are NOT socially responsible. We need market regulations to stop greedy and irresponsible capitalists. There is nothing wrong and everything right about law-abiding capitalism. It is the engine of economic production.

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By August West, September 17, 2008 at 9:55 am Link to this comment

“Just how dumb do they think we are?”
GWB proved that the Republicans can never go wrong misunderestimating the intelligence of the American electorate.  Elections are not won by facts or issues but by soundbites and perceptions.  I sense that more lies are due out of the McCain camp.

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By Tony Wicher, September 17, 2008 at 9:42 am Link to this comment

By Jaykgirl, September 17 at 8:16 am #


Economists Favor Obama
A new poll of economists finds Sen. Barack Obama is overwhelmingly preferred over Sen. John McCain by a 66% to 28% margin.
—————————————————————————
Jaykgirl,

I bet that at this point, if you took a poll of the CEO’s of the Fortune 500, Obama would win by a comparable margin. That’s why he is going to win this year, because not only “the people” but even “the ruling class” are looking to him to save capitalism - like 1932, which is what this country has reverted to after 40 years or Republicanism, reaction and ruin.

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By GW=MCHammered, September 17, 2008 at 9:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

WHAT MAKES PEOPLE VOTE REPUBLICAN?

(LONG ARTICLE but in short…)

“conservatism is a partially heritable personality trait that predisposes some people to be cognitively inflexible, fond of hierarchy, and inordinately afraid of uncertainty, change, and death. People vote Republican because Republicans offer “moral clarity”—a simple vision of good and evil that activates deep seated fears in much of the electorate.”

(mostly, DEM psychology is about social justice, GOP about morality/authority and why the two may never come together without mutual understanding)

http://www.edge.org/documents/archive/edge256.html#haidt

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By Tony Wicher, September 17, 2008 at 9:33 am Link to this comment

By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, September 17 at 7:14 am #
——————————————————————————-
Dr. Know,

Now you’re talking! One thing I cannot believe is the so-called leftists, so-called progressives, these Nader/Green voters, posting here who do not understand what a triumph for civil rights it is to elect an African-American president. It is the culmination of a truly independent mass movement since the 50’s, the realization of Martin Luther King’s dream. It’s like they don’t give a damn about the civil rights movement. I think a lot of them are closet racists, and anti-Semites, too. If not, they are just idiots. These are the same tools who would not vote for Hubert Humphrey back in 1968 in spite of his outstanding civil rights record, the same people who inflicted Nixon, Reagan, Bush I and Bush II on our country.

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By Jaykgirl, September 17, 2008 at 9:16 am Link to this comment

Economists Favor Obama
A new poll of economists finds Sen. Barack Obama is overwhelmingly preferred over Sen. John McCain by a 66% to 28% margin.

The survey consisted of 523 economists who are both U.S. citizens and members of the American Economic Association.  Article: http://politicalwire.com/archives/2008/09/16/economists_favor_obama.html Survey: http://econ4obama.blogspot.com/2008/09/66-of-economists-are-economists-for.html Full Report: http://www.dilbert.com/dyn/ppt/Draft-report—9-3-08.ppt

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By Janic P., September 17, 2008 at 9:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Oh it gets better. Here is a ling to a MSNBC/ Newsweek story praising Palin in 2007!
http://www.newsweek.com/id/42534/

Some of you keep referring to 4 more years of the same. What exactly makes you think that Owama is going to challenge the Democrat status quo? They have had the last several years to do something, change something, hell just put in an honest days work. They have done absolutely nothing.

They chair all the financial committees yet they did nothing to avoid the financial crisis.  Rangel was just caught cheating on his taxes and Obama and Todd took the lion’s share of corrupt political donations from Freddie/ Fannie. We can go on and on.

Sure looks like Obama is the one offering 4 more years of the same corrupt politics. You guys just seem to be blinded by your hate of the other party. What are you going to do if he does not pull through on his promises. Oh wait. He has not committed to anything specific. “Change” is subjective.

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By Fahrenheit 451, September 17, 2008 at 8:42 am Link to this comment

@ Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD;

Bless you my son; but race, of course, that is indeed what this is about!  That is my fear/pessimism.  But more, we are just sheep lead to slaughter: We are ripe for the harvesting, to complete the diabolical, stereotypical, Orwellian, culmination of Rovian/neo-con plans for our total subjugation for the elitist good!  After all, the elitist’s need good little automatons to carry out their every wish!  Keep the faith and see you in hell, ha ha!

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, September 17, 2008 at 8:14 am Link to this comment

Gramm looks a little like A.E. Neuman.

I don’t think they think we’re dumb.  I think they’re groping at straws because they have no substance to their campaign.  They do have affiliation with a failing party which they’re trying to deny.  What a postion to be in!

The only reason my feeble mind, worn even more tattered by this campaign, for polls showing the race to be so close is—are you ready—RACE.

The O’Reilly/Limbaugh right-wing evangelical types are tacitly taking no prisoners in their attempts to ensure that an AA doesn’t win the White House. 

I believe they see this as the end of the America God Blesses.

This will be debated after, not before, the election if the vacuous neocon/high school sweetheart duo succeed in getting out the sheeple vote.

The upside is that this is, I am confident, the beginning of the end for BAU by the white European aristocracy in this country.  Their days are numbered and they know it.  This election will prove Obama and all his supporters to be trailblazers and heroes.—Dr. O’Limbitall, BsD, BsD.

Keep on digging!!! A new and far better day is dawning in this great country!  Reason Bless America!!!!!

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By Leefeller, September 17, 2008 at 7:43 am Link to this comment

McCain may be confusing the word “fundamental” as used between the alleged differences of Palin’s church and the peoples state?

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By Fahrenheit 451, September 17, 2008 at 7:26 am Link to this comment

Whoa!  Why is this “race” so close?  Because as some other posters have said; ” we’re pretty stupid”!  Ya sure you betcha!  Is Obama the second coming?  Hell no, but he’s a damn sight better than 4 more years added to the 8 years of hell we’ve almost endured!!  The democracy we have chosen can only endure if the constituency is diligent and informed.  “We” have failed that benchmark!  This “race” (a joke) should be McCain - 27%; Obama - 63%!  Palin?  By all measure she is a bad joke taken waaaay too seriously by brainless, fundamentalist, non thinking, dogmatic idiots; who do not see past their own narrow interests!  As most of you know, this election cycle is likely the death of us!  Truly, “god” help us!

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By G.Anderson, September 17, 2008 at 7:05 am Link to this comment

Apparantly we are pretty dam dumb, because McCain and Obama remain dead even.

McCain confused us because he’s running as the candidate for change, even though Obama is also running for change. And we don’t seem to be smart enough to tell the difference.

Maybe that’s why we’re focusing on more important things, like whethere or not we like Sarah Palin..

The Economy is much like the McCain campaign, a total fraud, built on pretense and misdirection.

Just like a professional magician whose made an Elephant disapear by dropping it through a trap door on the stage, McCain has gotten us to believe he’s not a Republican.

It’s an act of Magic, that’s leaving the guilible puzzled, just how did he did it?

His sexy assistant, is the focus of our gaze while he uses some slight of hand, to pick our pockets…

Hurry, hurry, hurry, step right up…Abracadabra, please and thank you….There’s a sucker born every minute…

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By felicity, September 17, 2008 at 6:51 am Link to this comment

Cyrena - Robert Reich to replace Rubin.

All this talk about greed gone wild is amusing since capitalism operates according to the profit creed of make all the money you can - preferably legally because time spent in jail is time spent not making money. 

So what exactly is ‘greed?’ Making as much profit as possible? Making money off the backs of other people? Those aren’t examples of greed, they’re how well functioning capitalism operates. Greed is ultimately what drives the engine of capitalism.

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By Big B, September 17, 2008 at 6:24 am Link to this comment

“just how dumb do they think we are?”

Oh, they think we are very dumb, and I fear they may be right.

If you tried to explain how deregulation effected and caused the near collapse of the mortgage market, securities, and now the large insurance carriers, you would be greeted with the same vacant stare that your dog gives you when you tell him to look at the other dog on TV.

The fat is in the fire, and we are collectivly to dumb to realize it.

It’s a good thing that most americans don’t understand how the economy works. Because if they did, the thought of voting for either Barry or Mac would scare the shit out of them! Barry has some very dubios(and yes, sleazy) ties to financial industry. Mac is famous for his Keating five debacle and his association with Phil Gramm. Both candidates have taken millions in donations from the finance giants.
Who do you think holds more weight with the candidates, Some 40ish guy with 75 grand in his 401K, or AIG?

Barry better be careful what he wishes for, he just may be in charge of it in four months. Barry thinks all he has to do(now that the corp media refuses to cover the wars in the middle east) is sit back while the economy fails and let Mac and his idiot partner stammer on about assigning blame and perhaps revisiting some minor financial regulations. What Barry fails to realize is that this disaster will be the first thing on his desk in january, and he doesn’t appear to have a clue what to do about it.

I suppose it could be worse, it could be the meathead Mccain faced with the same problem.

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By Big B, September 17, 2008 at 6:22 am Link to this comment

“just how dumb do they think we are?”

Oh, they think we are very dumb, and I fear they may be right.

If you tried to explain how deregulation effected and caused the near collapse of the mortgage market, securities, and now the large insurance carriers, you would be greeted with the same vacant stare that your dog gives you when you tell him to look at the other dog on TV.

The fat is in the fire, and we are collectivly to dumb to realize it.

It’s a good thing that most americans don’t understand how the economy works. Because if they did, the thought of voting for either Barry or Mac would scare the shit out of them! Barry has some very dubios(and yes, sleazy) ties to financial industry. Mac is famous for his Keating five debacle and his association with Phil Gramm. Both candidates have taken millions in donations from the finance giants.
Who do you think holds more weight with the candidates, Some 40ish guy with 75 grand in his 401K, or AIG?

Barry better be careful what he wishes for, he just may be in charge of it in four months. Barry thinks all he has to do(now that the corp media refuses to cover the wars in the middle east) is sit back while the economy fails and let Mac and his idiot partner stammer on about assigning blame and perhaps revisiting some minor financial regulations. What Barry fails to realize is that this disaster will be the first thing on desk in january, and he doesn’t appear to have a clue what to do about it.

I suppose it could be worse, it could be the meathead Mccain faced with the same problem.

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By KISS, September 17, 2008 at 5:28 am Link to this comment

The dismantling of the Glass-Seagal act was done by Billybob and the repugs rejoiced…now we aren’t rejoicing, are we, nor are the repugs.
Obama has done well from the financial empires of wall street, just how adamant will he be for true regulatory reform? Once again the two party system proves to be inadequate for honest government.
Big money equates to free speech and shackles for the voters.

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By Janice P., September 17, 2008 at 5:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Great piece Mr. Scheer”..?

Cyrena if you looking for a job, I need a new assistant that likes to work it as well as you do. Wait.. are you Mr Scheer?

This article combines months old comments and tries to present them as new. Scheer is not a journalist. I listened to McCains speech. Scheers presentation is a distortion of the truth.

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By jackpine savage, September 17, 2008 at 4:45 am Link to this comment

They think that we are very dumb, and all too often, we prove them right.

Cyrena, i’m not sure that who else Obama could have advising him on economic matters…though there must be someone.  It sure seems like the Chicago school has a stranglehold on both political parties.

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By joe, September 17, 2008 at 4:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

yeah, ralph nader.

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By cyrena, September 17, 2008 at 1:34 am Link to this comment

Great piece Mr. Scheer. I’m not sure why Obama has taken Rubin on. (other than the fact that Citibank still has a lot of money, maybe he wants them the give it back?) I know, I know.

Still, I would agree that he should probably distance himself from all of them. The irony is that people like Rubin may actually BE helpful, despite their having been the recipients of the massive deregulation. (certainly they haven’t been the only ones). And, based on a single transaction that I was able to make via Citigroup a couple or so years ago, I can say that they have actually engaged in some measure of public service. (providing education loans at the same interest rates as federal student loans - a deal they cut with a public university system for a pre-determined period of time).

That isn’t what the general public sees however, and in the larger picture, Citigroup HAS benefited from the relaxation/violation of the regulations that were intended to prevent exactly this. That’s what the public sees.

So yeah. He needs to find someone else, (or several others) though I don’t honestly know who that person or persons should be.

Anybody got any suggestions?

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