Bailout bill: Will the Democrats wuss out again?

So far, the Democrats and surprisingly, some republicans are speaking out against the no holds barred bailouts. We have seen this kind of stuff before on Iraq only to be disappointed in the post 2006 era.

My biggest fear: The Democrats will come to a mature compromise and will join hands with the rebel Republicans who will eventually toe the party line for the "good of the country" and pass a bill that will not really do any long term good for the country. Lessons learned will be quickly forgotten and down the road history will repeat itself.

My biggest wish: Dodd and others stick to their demands that Paulson explain what is going to change as a result of these bailouts. If you are just merely avoiding a "catastrophe", give us some hard proof. And even if we do, 700B better buy us more than a short term fix. It needs to come with NON NEGOTIABLE reforms for companies to follow so that a bailout won't be in the cards in the future.

I personally think that for too long, people have been voting against their interests and condoning corporate abuses through their passivity and priortization of other issues that are trivial. Limiting bailouts will force people to bear some of the consequences of their decisions.

You want to save those who lost all their retirement accounts? Use the money that would have gone into the bailouts to fund some assistance for middle class people. That takes care of our citizens without having to save the stock market.

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Bailouts: Get concessions from solvent company execs

OK, let's keep it simple. Since all the powerful people in DC and on Wall Street are telling us bailouts are essential for the health of the economy, by doing these bailouts, isn't the government helping these normally healthy companies from falling prey to the domino effect of a bunch of failures. So if there really is such a concern, why wouldn't these private companies be willing to give the government some concessions in terms of waiving any subsidies, limits to their exec compensations/bonuses for this year since the government is doing something that prevents them from making zero money next year.

It's the same thing with the AIG Bailout. if the 11% is such a decent deal, you mean, there is not a single private huge entity or a consortium of a few healthy companies in the world that could have loaned 85B for that rate?

It is possible some of these bailouts are needed. But I want the DEmocrats to take their opposition even one step further. Make these people sweat like crazy before giving them a single concession. Extract as much as you can even from companies that are not directly helped but will benefit handsomely from a spillover effect of higher stock values.

THis is the time for the Democrats to stand for something. They made a good initial statement over the weekend. NOw ramp it up.

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FREDDIE MAC / FANNIE MAE: Franklin Raines, Obama, Other Democrats

While I hold the Republicans chiefly responsible for the mess we are in now, why were the Democrats such a lame opposition when all this was going on? Why werent they screaming at the top of their lungs with outrage all these years? And is it true Franklin Raines who made 50M off of Fannie mae gets to pocket his loot while he advises Obama and Fannieis getting a  bailout?

If Franklin Raines was part of the mess, he must resign from Obama's advisory group. If he made 50M, he should donate some of his money to worthy causes. It is obscene for him to make that much money in a company that gets bailed out a decade later.

I see FOX NEWS going after the democrats aggressively on Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae and I am disappointed to see little pushback on those issues. Does that mean there is some guilt on our party's part?

Here is a link to a FOX NEWS article penned by that moron John GIbson. It is the same talking points regurgitated by every FOX NEWS host.

What is the truth on this? We know DEmocrats have not been aggressive enough of reformers. But have they been part of the Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae mess?


Freddie and Fannie used huge lobbying budgets and political contributions to keep regulators off their backs.

A group called the Center for Responsive Politics keeps track of which politicians get Fannie and Freddie political contributions. The top three U.S. senators getting big Fannie and Freddie political bucks were Democrats and No. 2 is Sen. Barack Obama.

Now remember, he's only been in the Senate four years, but he still managed to grab the No. 2 spot ahead of John Kerry -- decades in the Senate -- and Chris Dodd, who is chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.

Fannie and Freddie have been creations of the congressional Democrats and the Clinton White House, designed to make mortgages available to more people and, as it turns out, some people who couldn't afford them.

Fannie and Freddie have also been places for big Washington Democrats to go to work in the semi-private sector and pocket millions. The Clinton administration's White House Budget Director Franklin Raines ran Fannie and collected $50 million. Jamie Gorelick -- Clinton Justice Department official -- worked for Fannie and took home $26 million. Big Democrat Jim Johnson, recently on Obama's VP search committee, has hauled in millions from his Fannie Mae CEO job

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NO MORE BAILOUTS (AIG)

I am sick and tired of the government bailing out these private companies without getting the execs to sacrifice much in return for the help. Is Hank Greenberg going to give up most of his assets to save AIG(even if he is no longer the head, but I assume he has profited handsomely in the past )? What are we getting in return from the execs of these companies? They need to feel the pain of capitalism in addition to the joys of it.

Why is it that execs justify their 100M paydays using a profit gained on paper in one year while they do not feel responsible for giving back any money when it turns out that profit was shortlived?

And shareholders welfare should not be a concern to bail out any private company. They need to suffer for their bad choice and passivity. Maybe private citizens will start to get more vigilant about their rights as shareholders when they get to suffer more.

No need to bailout airlines. The world will not come to an end. New airline companies will take their place.

Update [2008-9-17 11:13:18 by Pravin]:: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/18/business/18insure.html?_r=1&hp=&adxnnl=1&oref=slogin&adxnnlx=1221663807-r3x1hyMFDuIr0IuLbM8xtQ Here is a NYT article on the bailout.
But the bailout is likely to prove controversial, because it effectively puts taxpayer money at risk while protecting bad investments made by A.I.G. and other institutions it does business with. What frightened Fed and Treasury officials was not simply the prospect of another giant corporate bankruptcy, but A.I.G.’s role as an enormous provider of esoteric financial insurance contracts to investors who bought complex debt securities. They effectively required A.I.G. to cover losses suffered by the buyers in the event the securities defaulted. It meant A.I.G. was potentially on the hook for billions of dollars’ worth of risky securities that were once considered safe. If A.I.G. had collapsed — and been unable to pay all of its insurance claims — institutional investors around the world would have been instantly forced to reappraise the value of those securities, and that in turn would have reduced their own capital and the value of their own debt. Small investors, including anyone who owned money market funds with A.I.G. securities, could have been hurt, too. And some insurance policy holders were worried, even though they have some protections. “It would have been a chain reaction,” said Uwe Reinhardt, a professor of economics at Princeton University. “The spillover effects could have been

When insurance companies profit of such creative risk taking, they need to feel the downsides of such risk taking. The same goes for the entities that should do their own due diligence in the entire system. Whoever participates in the system should be cognizant of the possible downsides instead of thinking only in terms of the benefits. If there is a bailout, who learns the lessons that need to be learned?

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Wes Clark and McCain's POW status comments

Remember when Wes Clark made comments in response to an interviewer's direct comments about McCain's POW status being a factor in his suitability in becoming president?

One of the criticisms directed at Clark was that McCain didn't use his POW to sell his presidency possibility. Well, McCain himself seems to have spent a considerable amount of time pimping his POW experiences at the convention during his speech. Now, normally I would find it acceptable. But not after the sanctimonious responses from his camp during the Wes Clark controversy.

And even worse moment was when McCain made a snide comment about which candidate had the scars to live with.

obama owes Wes Clark an apology for not standing up to him enough when Clark was taking down McCain about whether POW status alone means a thing when it comes to voting for Presidency.

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TAXES TAXES TAXES

The Democrats need to realize that they should just keep it simple. It is unbelievable that McCain and Palin just get away with the false "Obama will raise taxes for EVERYONE" line of attack despite Obama's clear pronouncement about reducing taxes for middle class and poor americans in his acceptance speech. That's because Democrats never give a consistent unified "We also try to minimize taxes" message. Have you ever noticed that property taxes in republican areas are really not any lower than the Democratic party controlled areas for comparable locales? I have not done any serious research on it, but it seems that way to me.

Even freaking Obama will say that he will reduce taxes in one breath but then give equal emphasis in time and tone to "i will increase capital gains". Why the hell do you do that? Just mention it quietly on rare occasions. Just keep it simple. Make your message "I will reduce taxes for nearly everyone" and do the little footnote thing about higher taxes for only certain segments. I have seen Obama get a little more forceful in recent weeks in emphasizing the lower taxes thing. But over the years, the DEmocrats have done a lousy job in fighting for lower taxes that it is ingrained in people's mind that we stand for higher taxes even when the Presidential candidate has veered away from such a tired old approach.

It doesn't help that quite a few democrats have advocated higher taxes in the past making it easier for Republicans to confuse the people with distortions.  Hell, even on this blog, I differ with many of the readers on this issue. Let us get this straight. The deficit will not be cleared by just raising taxes. Congress will just find a way to increase spending with the new found money. The key is to drastically cut spending.

NOw where do we cut spending? The republicans serve their constituents well by fighting for their causes and enrich Halliburton. The DEmocrats do the same with their constituents, many of who are not as rich or fortunate as Halliburton and the assistance is to a lesser degree. But there is one HUGE difference. Republicans will not ask for higher taxes in most cases. They will do their best to kill off the Democratic Party programs. IN an ideal two party system, the Democrats should be doing the same with the other party's programs. Instead, they offer meek resistance and then turn to the tired old "well we need more taxes" mantra. So what ends up happening is the republicans get away with their programs with very little going to much needed liberal programs.  How about curbing spending to the minimum(and with the predicted majorities, make most of the cuts in useless areas such as oil subsidies, war on drugs and other useless bullshit wars). Once you have proven to the taxpayers that you can spend responsibly, raise taxes if you must. Do not ask for higher taxes whe you do not fulfill your duties as responsible representatives that care about how our taxes are spent.

P.S.: Sorry for posting this accidentally on the front page. I realized it and made it a diary instead of an entry.

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TAXES TAXES TAXES

The Democrats need to realize that they should just keep it simple. It is unbelievable that McCain and Palin just get away with the false "Obama will raise taxes for EVERYONE" line of attack despite Obama's clear pronouncement about reducing taxes for middle class and poor americans in his acceptance speech. That's because Democrats never give a consistent unified "We also try to minimize taxes" message. Have you ever noticed that property taxes in republican areas are really not any lower than the Democratic party controlled areas for comparable locales? I have not done any serious research on it, but it seems that way to me.

Even freaking Obama will say that he will reduce taxes in one breath but then give equal emphasis in time and tone to "i will increase capital gains". Why the hell do you do that? Just mention it quietly on rare occasions. Just keep it simple. Make your message "I will reduce taxes for nearly everyone" and do the little footnote thing about higher taxes for only certain segments. I have seen Obama get a little more forceful in recent weeks in emphasizing the lower taxes thing. But over the years, the DEmocrats have done a lousy job in fighting for lower taxes that it is ingrained in people's mind that we stand for higher taxes even when the Presidential candidate has veered away from such a tired old approach.

It doesn't help that quite a few democrats have advocated higher taxes in the past making it easier for Republicans to confuse the people with distortions.  Hell, even on this blog, I differ with many of the readers on this issue. Let us get this straight. The deficit will not be cleared by just raising taxes. Congress will just find a way to increase spending with the new found money. The key is to drastically cut spending.

NOw where do we cut spending? The republicans serve their constituents well by fighting for their causes and enrich Halliburton. The DEmocrats do the same with their constituents, many of who are not as rich or fortunate as Halliburton and the assistance is to a lesser degree. But there is one HUGE difference. Republicans will not ask for higher taxes in most cases. They will do their best to kill off the Democratic Party programs. IN an ideal two party system, the Democrats should be doing the same with the other party's programs. Instead, they offer meek resistance and then turn to the tired old "well we need more taxes" mantra. So what ends up happening is the republicans get away with their programs with very little going to much needed liberal programs.  How about curbing spending to the minimum(and with the predicted majorities, make most of the cuts in useless areas such as oil subsidies, war on drugs and other useless bullshit wars). Once you have proven to the taxpayers that you can spend responsibly, raise taxes if you must. Do not ask for higher taxes whe you do no fulfill your duties as responsible representatives that care about how our taxes are spent.

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Hillary delegates reneging on their pledge?

I have been a supporter of letting the Hillary supporters feel free to let their support for Hillary known at the convention via roll call. However, Anne Price Mills, a Hillary delegate was interviewed on CNN Suzanne Malveaux(sp?) at around 11:15pm. She did say that she wouldnt vote for McCain. But she did not feel like she could vote for Obama unless Obama did a lot more in the future to erase her doubts.

My question is this: Was she lying when she signed her delegate pledge to vote for the Democratic nominee? She is not as bad as the twit Debra(who I believe was a Hillary delegate before being stripped of that status) whatever who is in those recent McCain ads about former Hillary supporters going to McCain.

But it is dishonest of her to run for delegate and once she gets to the convention threatening to renege on the pledge she was required to sign. I ran for delegate and I would have voted for Hillary if I was chosen.

I wonder if there are other Hillary delegates out there intending to do the same? Update [2008-8-27 0:43:13 by Pravin]: OK, Zerosumgame pointed out something I am not 100%sure of. I thought the pledge included voting for the Dem nominee in the General Election. He/She thinks it doesn't. If someone can clarify, please weigh in on this issue. I will look for my documents in the meantime.

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Freddie Mac , Fannie Mae Bailout: Open Diary

I have not researched this enough to come out with a well informed diary. But I dont see this addressed by other diaries.

Here is a starting point.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/07/14 /how-the-government-would_n_112478.html

My initial instinct is not to bail out anyone. Capitalism cannot have it both ways. I would be curious how much the execs in charge made.

I think our priorities should be adjusted as a nation. It is not the end of the world if you do not own a house. The rental market in the US is very competitive. Education and healthcare are the two bigger priorities.
Some thoughts:

1. Our top priorities for families should be buying what they can afford. Do not overextend yourself on a mortgage and whine about it later.

  1.  And maybe we should have rules placing portions of multimillion dollar salaries in an escrow account to be taken away from execs when their companies fail in the subsequent five year period. Encourage more long term bonuses instead of get quick rich schemes the boards enable the execs to be part of. Companies that go bankrupt should not be paying their execs so much money for mismanagement.
  2. Public school system should be reformed big time. If people are unwilling to do this, then give poor people unable to buy houses a chance to go to the school of their own choice where the voucher(not your typical republican proposed voucher) size is partially based on the economic need and local school performance and student's efforts at attendance or maintaining some kind of discipline.  
  3. Financial education is more important than even sex education for our kids. Obviously a lot of Americans are growing up as ignorant adults when it comes to financial matters. What part of adjustable rate mortgages did not some of these homeowners not understand? I have one. I know the risk.

5. Capitalism should not be used as an excuse by companies to justify ridiculous salaries but then forgotten when they need help from the government. I think governement should rarely bail out any company. And if they do, they must extract so many concessions, it won't be funny.

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"Tyson Homosexual" wins 100M according to OneNewsNow.

Here is a link.
http://deadspin.com/5020670/apparently-s omeone-named-tyson-homosexual-is-very-fa st

You can also google the words - Tyson Homosexual 100 - and you will come up with a few links.

You can also go directly to the joke of a  website http://www.onenewsnow.com/
and if you look for the sports entries, the error will not be visible as they seem to have fixed the headlines. But if you hover over the heading, you will still see the "hint text" include the words Tyson Homosexual.

According to http://outsports.com/jocktalkblog/?p=117 4

OneNewsNow, where these links point to, is an online new site run by the rabidly anti-gay American Family Association based in Tupelo, Miss. It describes its mission as "Your latest news from a Christian perspective."

We keep worrying about gaffes on our side. This is the kind of gaffe that if we spread around can make them seem overly paranoid  as even common folk will find this amusing.

The explanation behind the gaffe is obvious. They probably used some auto-replace tool to change any mention of the word GAY to HOMOSEXUAL.  

Other notes:
1) China hotels are suffering a bit from low occupancy rates. Unless you are personally invested in a friend or relative's performance, I would urge everyone not to check out the Olympics in person as that would only help the Chinese government proclaim the Olympics to be a mega success. The more empty hotel rooms, the better. Not a total boycott. But boycott as much as you can.
NBC already paid for the rights, so China won't benefit from the viewership on TV.

  1. Imagine if Ben Gay became the MVP of the Superbowl. Would they say Pats Cornerback, Ben Homosexual?
  2. It could be worse. Those fundies could have used Tyson Fag**t to sub for Tyson Gay.

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