Another "Bush Doctrine" Moment for Sarah Palin

Katie Couric promised that there would be no "gotcha" moments during her interview with Sarah Palin. But given Palin's wildly obvious lack of preparation, that wasn't a promise Couric could keep.

Here's the transcript:

COURIC: You've said, quote, "John McCain will reform the way Wall Street does business." Other than supporting stricter regulations of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac two years ago, can you give us any more example of his leading the charge for more oversight?

PALIN: I think that the example that you just cited, with his warnings two years ago about Fannie and Freddie--that, that's paramount. That's more than a heck of a lot of other senators and representatives did for us.

COURIC: But he's been in Congress for 26 years. He's been chairman of the powerful Commerce Committee. And he has almost always sided with less regulation, not more.

PALIN: He's also known as the maverick though. Taking shots from his own party, and certainly taking shots from the other party. Trying to get people to understand what he's been talking about--the need to reform government.

COURIC: I'm just going to ask you one more time, not to belabor the point. Specific examples in his 26 years of pushing for more regulation?

PALIN: I'll try to find you some and I'll bring them to you.

As Marc Ambinder asks, "This should have been an easy question for Palin to answer, right?" And we wonder why Palin is staying away from the media -- and John McCain is running away from debates.

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SEC and Cox moved too slow on those naked shorts!

"The SEC's mission to protect investors, maintain orderly markets, and promote capital formation is more important now than it has ever been," said SEC Chairman Christopher Cox. "Today's Commission action aims to stop unlawful manipulation through 'naked' short selling that threatens the stability of financial institutions. We will continue our vigorous commitment to investors by working within the SEC and in close cooperation with our regulatory counterparts to promote the continued health and vibrancy of our markets."

- excerpt from a press release by SEC Chairman, Christopher Cox

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Media Consolidation -- a Historical Perspective

Media Reform Information Center

In 1983, 50 corporations controlled the vast majority of all news media in the U.S.

in 2000, the number had fallen to six. Since then, there have been more mergers and the scope has expanded to include new media like the Internet market. More than 1 in 4 Internet users in the U.S. now log in with AOL Time-Warner, the world's largest media corporation.

In 2004, Bagdikian's revised and expanded book, The New Media Monopoly, shows that only 5 huge corporations -- Time Warner, Disney, Murdoch's News Corporation, Bertelsmann of Germany, and Viacom (formerly CBS) -- now control most of the media industry in the U.S. General Electric's NBC is a close sixth.


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Laissez Faire

The belief that uniform benefit could be had by pure unregulated capitalistic economies died more than a century ago when people realized that pure market economies failed to produce a benefit to society as a whole. This wasn't a change in thinking from capitalism to socialism as it is often debated now days, but rather a realization that unbridled capitalism exacerbated the conditions that brought about Communism. The great majority of the nation, liberal and conservative, businessman and laborer, came to the same conclusion, that to be in a truly fully capitalist society government played an important role. That role was and is primarily to keep the playing field fair and even so that basic economic principles that benefit mankind can take hold. What had occurred during this time period was that forces gaming the system, chiefly monopolists, took over the open capitalist markets and closed them to the detriment of a great majority of the citizenry.

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Industry's Basic Justification For Preemption Is Wrong

Cross-posted from Tort Deform

by Brian Wolfman, Director of Public Citizen Litigation Group

The basic idea of the federal preemption doctrine is easily stated:  It is a constitutionally mandated choice-of-law principle that demands that federal law trumps state law when the two conflict or in the rare instance when the comprehensiveness of federal law on a topic demands no role for state law on that topic.  But application of that principle can be terribly difficult.  It requires that one master its basic tenets -  the Supreme Court's jurisprudence interpreting the constitution's Supremacy Clause from which the preemption requirement flows.  It requires an understanding of the fundamentals of statutory construction, because, generally, preemption turns on whether legislation enacted by Congress expressly or impliedly ousts state law.  And, because present-day preemption issues tend to involve policing the borderline between a federal regulatory scheme and state law-making authority, familiarity with administrative law is often a must.

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