Tag Archives: Economy

Candidate vs. Opponent

by Nathan Pitman

Please read twice. The first time do not click on ANY links. the second time click on ALL links.

It seems incredible that in this day and age people continue to advocate for things which are going to put the rest of the country at a disadvantage.

Here we are in the 21st century, and we  have a presidential contender arguing that (1)we should not be helping where help is needed. This same candidate argues that (2)“activist judges” and (3) strong diplomatic actions and not threats are needed to quell messy situations. What is he thinking!

The economy is gone to hell and left a hand-basket of coal. (1) People in the U.S. are suffering and yet he rails against them as if they are at fault. The economic problems have hit some pocketbooks more than others yet the candidate’s opponent wants to give other people the government’s helping hand.The candidate knows that this economic crisis will determine the outcome of the election and yet his opponent attacks every plan he comes up with. It seems downright un-American and a travesty to boot. These attacks portray him as out of touch with real Americans when the opposite is true, just look at his running mate, a “from back home” type of populist if there ever was one.

The opponent said in the last debate that he would (2) not appoint activist judges, are you kidding me? Of course he didn’t come right out and say he would. He did hint that he would only appoint judges that ruled in a certain way. I would like to point out that some Supreme Court justices do not base their decisions on precedent or in a sound legal basis. The last thing this country needs is more activist judges, especially on the supreme court. The two candidates have come down on differing sides of the living constitution issue. In reality there is only one side which is correct.

The candidate understands that sometimes it is important to use (3) diplomacy and sometimes it is important to use force. The key is knowing which time to use which.  The opponent and his running mate think that they should waste little time before using force in a dangerous country to save lives. Is this the proper use of force or diplomacy?

And finally remember one of these two won’t even admit to fund raising, by a TERRORIST for his campaign!

All this shows that the candidate, is in no way the best man for the job. He is wrong on three of the most important decisions facing the country. The candidate is wrong (1) for wanting to help corporations through this troubled times and not the common person. The candidate is wrong on (2) activist judges. he advocates putting judges on the bench that will legislate from the bench by overruling past precedent specifically in the case of Roe v. Wade. Finally the candidate is wrong on the issue of (3) diplomacy. He takes no forceful stand on genocide in Darfur, arguably the worst human tragedy of the 21st century.

It is hard to see how the candidate reconciles his various stances on these issues when often he has been (3) considered a hawk on military affairs. He even advocates staying in Iraq through the foreseeable future. Yet he thinks that we should not sit down “without preconditions” to speak with our enemies. (2) The candidate refuses to take a firm stand on the type of judges. While he has claimed he will require no litmus test for Supreme Court Justices he will not nominate anyone who disagrees with his views on the Roe v. Wade. (1) The candidate wants to give even more money, cut taxes, and further deregulate large corporate interests; meanwhile he refuses to lower taxes on the middle class.

A final thought…

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Filed under Democratic Party, McCain, Negative Campaigning, Obama, Republican, Uncategorized

“That one”… (you know, the black one)

A Polemical Essay by: That Girl

I’ll say this: I don’t think John McCain is racist. But he sure knows how to hang with the worst of them.

With a Bear Market currently mauling a little china shop known as the Global Financial System and McCain’s less than spectacular performance in demonstrating the urgency of the economic meltdown (outside of suspending his campaign for a few hours while negotiating alternative debate dates -> a stunt that smelled more like a steaming pile of politics than the cool breeze of “Maverick” it was intended to ostentate), it seems the McCain campaign feels it has little choice but to pander to the lowest common denominator of their party by resorting to tar-slinging tactics (read: mud-slinging with a racist adhesive).

The past few days have seen a noticeable shift in political maneuvering from the McCain camp with concerted attempts to not only link Obama with domestic terrorists:

… but allude to foreign terrorist alliances by virtue of his middle name:

… which has been conspicuously added to both Palin’s:

… and McCain’s introductions of late:

Add to this tack a solid Southern Dixiecrat base still smarting over that whole Civil War thing:

Comparative Analysis -> These maps demonstrate correlate divisions between Red/Blue states of the 2004 Election Cycle and the Secessionist/Unionist states of the Civil War...

Comparative Analysis -> These maps demonstrate correlate divisions between Red/Blue states of the 2004 Election Cycle and the Secessionist/Unionist states of the Civil War. Coincidence?

… and it’s not exactly surprising that hatred toward a black presidential candidate would rear its head so ugly and quick in America…

**********

By now, we’re all more than likely aware of the incendiary campaign rhetoric and subsequent malicious comments produced by angry Republican mob participants over the course of the previous few days…

(Listen for “treason” @ 0:31 seconds):

(… and “kill him” @ 0:13 seconds):

… and McCain’s lukewarm attempt at backpedaling:

“[Senator Obama] is a decent person and a person that you do not have to be scared about as President of the United States,” he said, before adding: “If I didn’t think I would be one heck of a better president I wouldn’t be running.”

… as the McCain camp signaled its refusal to alter its strategy by actually defending these bigots:

“Barack Obama’s assault on our supporters is insulting and unsurprising.

[snip]

“It is clear that [he] just doesn’t understand regular people and the issues they care about. He dismisses hardworking middle class Americans as clinging to guns and religion, while at the same time attacking average Americans at McCain rallies who are angry at Washington, Wall Street and the status quo.” (emphasis mine)

What.

This seeming lack of concern on the part of the Republican campaign for the historically proven consequences of such rhetoric and obtuse approval is nothing short of inexcusable and frankly, boggles the mind.

These supporters aren’t “regular people”. They are the most unhinged elements of our society. They can’t be “angry at… the status quo”. They are the status quo: white, bible thumping social conservatives spoiled on eight long years of flaunting moral superiority like an American badge of entitlement, pointing to “traitors of the war” while requiring the greatest restriction of civil rights since that guy McCarthy invented his own “ism” -> all in the name of waging a righteous Crusade to “democratize” “terrorist” nations.

So, while these particular Republican supporters may also be frustrated by “business as usual” in Washington and on Wall Street, make no mistake: if they’re pissed, at the end of the day, it’s because their brass-balled, hegemonic endorsements are shriveling like so many raisins in the sun.

The problem with the Republican ticket is this: the position of the Presidentcy of the United States, at all times, (but especially times like these) requires a greater moral compass than those currently demonstrated by either the Republican presidential or vice presidential nominees in practicing their “Win at all costs” campaign philosophy. Worse, by activating, harboring, and comforting the most unacceptably radical elements of our society by political means, the Republican Party has effectively condemned all social progress made since the Civil War in advancing Equality, Opportunity and all those other novel concepts given lip service by the GOP when speaking of the Constitution.

Is John McCain racist? I don’t believe so. But he walks a perilous line:

John McCain and Sarah Palin, you are playing with fire, and you know it. You are unleashing the monster of American hatred and prejudice, to the peril of all of us. You are doing this in wartime. You are doing this as our economy collapses. You are doing this in a country with a history of assassinations.

… when [your supporters] scream out “Terrorist” or “Kill him,” history will hold you responsible for all that follows.

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Filed under Democratic Party, McCain, Media, Negative Campaigning, Obama, Palin, Republican, Uncategorized, Vice-President

Rescuing Wall Street

by Shawn Scanlon

The Bailout legislation that recently passed was the only way to help the ailing economy.

At least that’s how it was sold to us. But the salespeople were wrong.  There were a myriad of ways that government could have helped during these difficult times.  But let’s look at at from a different perspective.  What bad things might have happened if the bailout legislation had not been passed?

  • College students are unable to receive loans to pay for tuition.
  • GM fails.  Every single person working there loses their job.
  • Home sales will plummet without the availability of credit.

Now, these aren’t the only economic problems that we might have faced sans-bailout, but those were three very strong arguments for passing the bailout legislation.  Here’s the problem: both political parties see a top-down $800 billion solution as the best approach to help the American economy.  A working-class friendly solution might have looked a bit more like this:

  • Government has an interest in the industry that they are subsidizing equal to the shares that are purchased, rather than giving money without control.  For example, the government could have purchased shares of AIG at $3 each; to have had a controlling stake would cost $4.035 billion.
  • College students would still have access to Pell grants and government loans.  The current crisis would have zero effect on the availability of these programs.  However, some students may have trouble finding private lenders.  The government could expand their loan programs to cover these students struggling to find loans.
  • Or, as another option, give every college student in America (pdf) a scholarship for $5,000.  This second option would cost $83.5 billion.  This would cut college costs in half for students attending public universities.  Students would still qualify for Pell grants and government loans.
  • GM has 266,000 employees.  A job works program could employ 1 million Americans for five years at a cost of $200 billion.  The average salary would be $40,000.
  • This last claim is simply untrue.  Rather than plummeting, home sales have done quite well, even in the current market.  People are still buying houses, and the government does not need to guarantee home ownership; giving mortgages that people can’t afford is a problem.  People with good jobs and good credit ought to own homes.  The government ought to treat the illness, not the symptom.

During the debate over bailout legislation, there were sober folks on each side of the issue providing good information.  So no, it wasn’t “smart” people versus “dumb” people in this debate.  In fact, a story on NPR noted that 200 economists (each of them smart) did not agree that the bailout legislation was necessary.  Of course, there were other economists who did believe that it was important to pass said legislation.  I don’t doubt their intelligence; I simply disagree with their method for stimulating the economy.

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Filed under Domestic Policy, Media

Voters Say Barack has best plan/ Follow up on class discussion today

In the middle of what seems to be the most serious economic failure since the times of The Great Depression, the economy has coming flying back to the forefront of voter minds.  First and foremost, it needs to be understood that the Republican Party should not be allowed to shed any light in the situation whatsoever, and they should be busier explaining as to what happened and why their philosophy failed the majority of the American people.  During Obama’s campaign in Colorado he stated, “I certainly don’t fault Senator McCain for these problems.” “But I do fault the economic philosophy he subscribes to. It’s the same philosophy we’ve had for the last eight years — one that says we should give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else.” In a MSNBC poll, readers were asked which candidate has the best policy for solving America’s economic problem?  This particular poll shows that out of almost 41,000 voters, over 30,000 of them say that Obama has the best plan to change the course of America.  With the collapse of many of the largest financial institutions in America, the buy out of Merrill Lynch, and now the 80 billion dollar rescue of AIG, I would have to say that the current policy is extremely flawed, I would be compelled to say that the top 1% of Americas richest people, do not want to be taxed more, I would also argue that the theory of prosperity trickling is absolutely absurd.  Considering that the Democratic Party is out of power, therefore making the economic crisis technically not their fault, I believe that this is going to work to their advantage; you can’t technically expect change to come for the betterment of the American economy when it has been proven that John McCain, by his own admission does not know much about the economy, considering it isn’t really his natural turf, and he subscribes to the same beliefs and party standards that bush has set, “the economic philosophy he subscribes to,” based on tax cuts for the wealthy and the habit of “ignoring economic problems until they spiraled into crises”, Said Obama.  America is in a deep economic crisis, similar to that of the Great Depression, personal savings is at an all time low, the stock market crashes daily, so I am left with the question of, what’s next?  I am not sure that Barrack’s plan is feasible, but I am sure that John McCain’s plan would be at least another four years of the same thing, which the American economy cant even afford right now. One thing is for sure, both nominees need to strop playing tag with these back and forth attacks and get down to the real issues.

 

            Just to follow up a little bit on what we talked about in class today. After reading the articles on Obama, I must say I feel a little relieved that Obama is human!! (NEWSFLASH)…  It is extremely interesting to me that I am hearing the fact that Obama isn’t a politician just like the next, because he drives for change, therefore he isn’t allowed to do what it takes to accomplish that change.  Many people want to turn there back on Barack in an instant at the first notion of some twisted way of getting money, or making connections through whoever he may and how ever he may. The reality of the situation is the fact that Obama wouldn’t be where he is without his connections; neither would McCain, Bush, Kennedy, Clinton, and unfortunately the list roles right on down to your favorite politicians as well.  My more cynical view of the situation is the fact that Obama catches such criticism for the things he does; which anybody who is somebody has to do to get anywhere, is the fact that people are scared of change.  Any type of change, good or bad, Barack is a black male, with the middle name Hussein, so every step he makes is going to be under more scrutiny because of the change that he does represent.  Lets face it Barack is a politician, so is McCain, Hilary, and everyone else in the political scheme, you will be hard pressed to find anyone in this field that hasn’t done something to advance his personal agenda or the one he is fighting for.

 

 

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Filed under Uncategorized

You can put lipstick on John McCain but…

An Appeal to Patience by: That Girl

I tell you, after watching and (at times) participating in the What-The-Eff-Are-We-Gonna-Do-Now freak-out session that defined the liberal base for the last two weeks, I’m completely exhausted. Lipstick on mammals and bridges to nowhere aside, the Palin pick had me and the whole world thinking, “Huh?” and wondering just what the hell John McCain was up to when he decided to undermine his own campaign platform of Experience vs. Celebrity by choosing an inexperienced candidate-turned-overnight-celebrity in the face of the most intense media scrutiny since a blue dress and a cigar walked into the Oval Office about a decade ago.

Seriously, just six years ago the excessive beating of war drums and outrageous claims of mushroom clouds in our backyards elicited not scrutiny, but cheerleading from media outlets eager to scoop and flattered by executive privilege. Just ask Judith Miller. If information institutions had been as diligent or thorough in verifying certain intelligence ‘facts’ about an ongoing war as they were about certain stains and the meaning of “is”, I doubt we’d be hemorrhaging two billion dollars a week in the one sandbox the terrorists turned out not to be or watching the financial markets spiral out of control. But that’s not the point…

I couldn’t’ve said it better myself.

The point is this: Now that Lehman’s has tanked and Merril’s been liquidated all within a week of the government’s takeover of Fannie and Freddie along with a growing belief that Bush policies played an integral role in the current decline in the markets:

The spending on Iraq was a hidden cause of the current credit crunch because the US central bank responded to the massive financial drain of the war by flooding the American economy with cheap credit.

“The regulators were looking the other way and money was being lent to anybody this side of a life-support system,” he said.

That led to a housing bubble and a consumption boom, and the fallout was plunging the US economy into recession and saddling the next US president with the biggest budget deficit in history, he said.

… as well as the roles former lobbyists play on the campaign trail for a candidate who’s supposedly committed to closing “revolving doors” to “special interests” in Washington:

… when McCain huddled with his closest advisers at his rustic Arizona cabin last weekend to map out his presidential campaign, virtually every one was part of the Washington lobbying culture he has long decried. His campaign manager, Rick Davis, co-founded a lobbying firm whose clients have included Verizon and SBC Telecommunications. His chief political adviser, Charles R. Black Jr., is chairman of one of Washington’s lobbying powerhouses, BKSH and Associates, which has represented AT&T, Alcoa, JPMorgan and U.S. Airways.

… combined with an 89% average consistency in voting with Mr. Bush since the president took office in 2001 and it seems pretty clear just how the Obama campaign will proceed:

Saying that McCain had put some lobbyists in key roles of his campaign, Obama said, “If you think those lobbyists are working day and night for John McCain just to put themselves out of business, well I’ve got a bridge to sell you up in Alaska.”

Ain’t no lipstick in the world gonna make John McCain look any less like George Bush now.

So, Everybody Calm Down:

Obama has shown as well as anyone that he is a rough-and-tumble politician who doesn’t shy from a fight. But his campaign has made central his commitment to changing the way we do politics. That doesn’t mean he’s a wimp, but it does mean he can’t buy into the Bush-Rove politics that McCain now espouses.

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Filed under McCain, Media, Negative Campaigning, Obama, Vice-President

It’s the economy, stupid (or the lipstick, or the sex education, or the flag pins, or….)

By: Brian Bohnert

As Democratic strategist James Carville took the reigns of the Clinton campaign in 1992, he coaxed his team to stay on message with three themes he thought could beat George H.W. Bush – the economy, change and health care. The first theme became a rallying cry for the Democrats as they tried to take down a popular war time president and inadvertently gave rise to an American colloquialism. “Its the economy, stupid” seems as applicable today as ever with the news of two more mortgage giants folding and sending the market into the worst free fall since September 11, 2001 (see depressing chart here). Unemployment numbers are up, the strength of the dollar is down, and the American people seem to be on a hair trigger concerning the economy if the immediate response to John Mccain’s gaffe Monday about the “fundamentals” of the American economy is any indication. This response should not come as a huge surprise as currently, 56% of likely voters

Vote with your wallet

Vote with your wallet

indicatate that the economy is the number one issue facing America – a huge shift from 23% one year ago. Furthermore, most political observers agree that when the economy is good the party in power tends to stay there and if not, the challenger typically wins (google: Herbert Hoover+1932+great depression+worst response ever). While the bad economic numbers seem to work in Obama’s favor, the other key economic component to winning in November is taxes, (google: read my lips+taxes+Bush+actually, I hope you can’t read my lips, because I am going to raises taxes+1992 election) something the Democrats have not been able to overcome during the last two presidential elections. A quick study of the tax plans put forth by the Obama and McCain camps reveals a fairly typical liberal (demand side) and conservative (supply side) approach to economic policy, but a closer look is necessary as both Mccain and Obama have inched towards the center when you compare their plans to their respective historical counterparts – Reagan and Franklin D. Roosevelt. First, it is helpful to cut through some of the political and media spin which this article does quite nicely. The McCain folks would have you believe that Obama is scheming to tax anything that moves (or doesn’t in the case of your dead uncle Jerry who just left you his 3 million dollar estate) and claim that the Democrats would implement the largest tax increase since WWII. This simply is not true, nor is the false Republican claim that Obama will raise taxes on the middle class – something that Fox News (believe it or not) was sure to point out yesterday. A further analysis of the the plans reveals that in fact, Obama’s plan would tax individuals making over $250K/year with the highest tax burden shouldered by Bill Gates (not him personally, but his type). While Obama would extend Bush’s tax cuts for the middle class, he would expand the tax cuts for the lowest income earners. Predictably, McCain wants to extend Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and reduce the capital gains tax. If you don’t know what capital gains are, it probably means this won’t affect you since normally this only hits the investments of wealthy Americans (probably not most students at The University of Colorado At Denver). Moreover, Corporations will see a reduction in taxation under the McCain plan which according to classic conservative fiscal thinking will increase competition within the free market, allow access to more capital to create jobs and eventually everyone benefits. Regardless of the plan you prefer, you will most likely see a reduction in your overall tax bill which come April 15, might leave a few extra dollars in your pocket for malted hops and barley. While this will be great for a one time celebration of your good fortune, what the American voter needs to consider is some of the hidden costs of living in a faltering economy and the plain humanity of our society. As gas prices continue to soar, the costs of health care increase and tax payer money continues to bail out wall street mistakes, a supply side philosophy seems woefully out of touch with the majority of Americans. If you think that government can be a force for good and help those that might need an extra boost into the next income bracket (as economist Paul Krugman does) then it might be time to consider a change in our economic plan. If, on the other hand, you view those people who struggle to make ends meet as “whiners” (as McCain economic adviser Phil Gramm does) more of the same might be your style. Moving forward, as wall street tries to deal with the implications of the most recent collapse, look for the economy to take center stage and the talk of lipstick and sex for kindergarteners to fade away. This rough and tumble game of politics has real world economic consequences – it is just unfortunate that it takes an economic collapse on wall street and a hit in our wallets to remind us of that.

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Filed under McCain, Obama, Uncategorized