Tuesday, October 14, 2008

This is not the first time the McCain campaign has shot itself in the foot

If McCain is personally in charge of his campaign, then he's incompetent. Accept the endorsement of Ayers' Republican funder right before the last debate? When you've gotten wind that your opponent's rebuttal on Ayers is that he was funded by said major Republican? Either that, or McCain is being sabotaged. If, as I've seen hinted, it's by a Palin-supporting group closer to Bush & Cheney than McCain (Schmidt, Kristol, etc.), they're doing a terrible job of introducing her for 2012. She's such an obvious liar, so obviously incompetent and such a tangibly scary religious nut that she's already been defined as unqualified for the Presidency to a large majority of the country.

Friday, October 10, 2008

My God, I didn't expect this

A little bit of the old McCain. (Thanks Andrew Sullivan.) And thank you, Senator John Sidney McCain III. Second piece of good news all week. Buy more stocks on Monday, kthnx. Consult the Fed for all your borrowing needs. (Except for credit cards; go ahead and just pay those off, you never know when you'll need your full power to delay payments.) Maybe someone won't take a shot at Obama now, because if McCain kept this Ayers shit up it would get likelier and likelier.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Investors, banks, lenders:

Get over it. The Fed and the Treasury are giving you everything you could possibly need in the shape of money. Now starting lending and spending it! That's your job. Capitalists are not allowed to strike. It's hypocritical.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Wachovia deal just got more complicated

How will this end up? God knows I'd rather have a non-government-backed deal.

How to democratise Presidential races

Wouldn't it be great if Georgia became the third state after Maine and Nebraska to uncouple its Electoral Votes?

If a snowballing number of states did that, that would take care of Electoral College reform as far as I'm concerned. This commenter makes a fair point, though.

NY Times article on Fannie Mae

I'm not familiar with Charles Duhigg, but I like this article a lot.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

A note on how I've been posting the last few days

I've been treating the posts as works-in-progress, updating them with mostly unnoted edits throughout the day. Ideally, I prefer not to do that, but it has seemed harmless for now. My preferred method is to make a single, final post, then explicitly post edits at the end as amendments.

Declan McCullagh's overview of the bill

He leads with a sum of the government's "socializing" of Wall Street since Bear Stearns. Four months and a few days (or six months, depending how you count) since the beginning of this mess that is the first thing Obama is going to be forced to deal with.

Others that should be on his list:

Planning drawdown & redeployment of U.S. forces in Iraq (he should do this worldwide, but that's a pipe dream)
Revolutionising Afghan & Pakistani policy
Tax code reform (dare we hope for simplification?)
Investigations/prosecutions of current Administration:
-Abu Ghraib
-U.S. Attorneys
-Domestic warrantless surveillance
-Walter Reed
Russian/Chinese/Iranian/North Korean adjustments
Global nonproliferation
Adjustment of world organizations and regimes: WTO, UN
Energy/environmental policy
A complete overhaul of confidential/secret information policy and retention
Repairing the armed forces
Voting mechanics and law (aka making the USA safe for democracy)
Veterans Administration reform: Better and cheaper

Stuff that he should get to but probably won't:
Repeal of Military Commissions Act, chunks of the Patriot Act, most of the FISA amendments
Ballot access

Friday, October 3, 2008

Senate, House and President Agree: This is how we throw money at the economy

The final bill. Let's see what all's in it.

"President Bush Signs H.R. 1424 Into Law

On Friday, October 3, 2008, the President signed into law:

H.R. 1424, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008, and Tax Extenders and Alternative Minimum Tax Relief Act of 2008, which authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to establish a Troubled Assets Relief Program to purchase troubled assets from financial institutions; provides Alternative Minimum Tax relief; extends expiring tax provisions and establishes energy tax incentives; and temporarily increases Federal Deposit Insurance limits."

I like Andrew Leonard's commentary. Seems right.

SEC Revokes Ban on Short Selling as of Oct. 9

Palin saved her next crazy moment until after the debate. This is one entertaining lady. Are we about to get Andrew Sullivan's long-desired press conference?

Yup, definitely going to pass

Atlanta's own John Lewis is changing his vote.

Yet every outlet reports that the outcome is very much in doubt. Reporters are such shankers. It's coming to a vote today and it's going through.

Hopefully after 1.20.09 something much better can immediately be passed. God, there's so much to clean up from the past eight years, they'll never get to it all.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Cheat sheet: (Futile) Lobbying for a Better Bailout Bill

UPDATE II: It looks like there are now at least 13 Representatives publically reported in the various news media as changing their votes. Congratulations. Get to know your new $700 billion toxic assets, and look to see if one of the new tax breaks might be good for you.

Link to the bill on Senate website

PDF of bill at the Wall Street Journal (courtesy of Andrew Leonard)

Is lobbying for a better bill a futile notion, not just because I'm thinking about influencing at the last minute legislators with whom I have no relationship, but because something has to be done, and this is what's possible? (Thanks again to Andrew Leonard.)


"Emboldened by the feverish bidding for votes, other members of both parties were demanding substantial changes to the legislation before they would vote for it. A group of Republican opponents indicated they'd back it if the price tag were slashed to $250 billion and several special tax breaks added by the Senate—including for children's archery bow makers, imported rum producers and racetrack owners _were removed. Democrats wanted to add a way to pay for the bailout and more help for homeowners staring at foreclosure."

Fun Facts About What's In the "New" Bill

Changing votes to yes

David Dreier (R?-CA)
Zach Wamp (R-TN)
John Shadegg (R-AZ)
Jim Gerlach (R-PA)
Tim Murphy (R-PA)
Patrick Tiberi (R-OH)
Steve LaTourette (R-OH)
Henry Cuellar (D-TX)
Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)
Jim Ramstad (R-MN)
Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO)
Shelley Berkley (D-NV)

Changing votes to yes?

Doc Hastings (R-WA)
Gene Green (D-TX)
Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)
Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ)
Adam Schiff (D-CA)
Elijah Cummings (D-MD)
Donna Edwards (D-MD)
Other Arizonans?

Changing votes to no?

Spencer Bachus (R-AL)
Some Blue Dog Democrats?
Not changing yes votes: Dan Boren (D-OK), Jane Harman (D-CA), Jim Marshall (D-GA), Jim Cooper (D-TN)

Not changing

Marcy Kaptur (D-OH)
Steve King (R-IA)
Lloyd Doggett (D-TX)
Brad Sherman (D-CA)
Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD)
Pete Stark (D-CA)


AP 1
AP 2
Baltimore Sun 1
Baltimore Sun 2
San Fran (Chron?)
Drudge's AP
AZ Republic
Drudge's AP 2



Wednesday, October 1, 2008

An inside analysis of the Paulson plan (preserved in the current Senate version)

The bailout's supporters are doing everything they can to get it passed.

Meanwhile, for an in-depth illustration of how much the Paulson plan blows and how scandalous it is, click this post's title; read as much or as little as you want. Not only are the Democratic "reforms" less than window-dressing, it probably won't even work. Not like the government backing up the nation's mortgages would, anyway, or the government directly infusing capital into banks and taking an equity stake in return (an idea George Soros is pushing).

There has to be an alternative to this plan for which opponents can muster a majority in the House. Can Representative DeFazio's plan be made palatable? The first three proposals are nonsense, but the fourth is the obvious meat of the plan, along with the fifth which has already been endorsed by both McCain and Obama and is part of the amended bill that just passed the Senate.

Like Krugman said: "No equity ... no deal."

Will the Blue Dogs help kill the "new" plan?

McCain's attempts to turn the credit crisis to his political advantage backfired.