After brief discussion with Barack Obama about something else, John McCain, king of backroom deals, has decided that they need him in Washington to broker this sellout…er…rescue package. He’s unilaterally “suspending” his campaign, eliminating advertising, and will pull out of debates until the crisis is over.
I guess they really need him there because of his economic expertise, level temperaments, reliable attendance… nah. Actually they haven’t missed him one bit in the 6 months or so since he stopped attending session or voting on any issues at all. So what’s the deal?
This is just the latest step in a trend away from contact with the public and the press. This is about foreign policy, and they think he’s going to mess up royally, mix up Iran and Iraq, Sunnis and Shi’ites, Pakistan and Afghanistan, Spain and South America, Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic… No, wait, he already did get all them confused, see what I mean?
I don’t know what happened… Well actually, I do know. I was looking at these more or less random free graphics software download thingies, and all of a sudden I had the irresistable urge to morph something more meaningful than the line drawing smilies I saw in the little demo on the web.
Whew! I know I’m preaching to the choir, but here it is.
Does she really, really want us to think of her as a “pit bull with lipstick”? I’ve done the research and it’s .not.flattering.at.all.
It looks like “fiscal conservatism” is actually referring strictly to slicing out entitlement programs for the people on the bottom, since it doesn’t apply to anything else. Entitlement programs for the rich and ultra-rich seem to be untouched.
While I believe that the Democrats in Congress have been shirking their Constitutional duties by not kicking the bums out of office, their options are not as great as many people seem to feel they are.
Now we all know how Dubya ran for office saying he was going to be the “Great Uniter”. Somehow he just kind of figured that everybody was going to do as he said, and this would unite them all. Hmm, that one seems to have gone down with the “One Thousand Points of Light”. His entire strategy has been to divide and conquer.
So now let’s take a look at how well the Republicans have been playing with others in Congress.
Looks like they set a record, eh? Kind of like the guy who pulls into the intersection even though he knows he’s not going to be able to clear it and will end up blocking all traffic in any direction. If he can’t have his way, then ain’t nobody gonna go.
I blame it on Firefox. What happens is that when I open up a link in digg.com, it opens a new tab. If it looks like it’s interesting enough to blog up, I leave the tab open and go back and look for more stories. Sometime later I have so many tabs open that the idea of blogging all these important stories—even just to drop in the links—starts to become burdensome.
John McCain either doesn’t know who the Prime Minister of Spain is, thinks Spain is a country in Latin America, or possibly both.
In case, you haven’t seen our updates from last night, yesterday John McCain was interviewed on the Florida affiliate of Spanish radio network Union Radio. And in the interview McCain appeared not to know who the Prime Minister of Spain was and assumed he was some anti-American leftist leader from South America.
He was doing a planned interview with a reporter from Spain, and he couldn’t remember the President of Spain. Now she thought he was dodging the question clumsily. The simpler answer is that gramps couldn’t keep it straight in his mind what the topic was, aside from himself and his talking points.
Shouldn’t we be hearing this in the news? I don’t think “whatever” is good enough.
Coming off Monday’s gaffe of claiming that the economy is fundamentally strong despite all observations to the contrary (like, why did we have to pay to bail out giant banks who had lost our money in skeezy investments?), McCain has attempted to recast himself as a perpetual supporter of financial regulation.
Obviously his record says this is a bald-faced lie. It was only due to lack of regulation that he was able to be a willing participant in the Savings and Loan Debacle and ended up being immortalized as one of the “Keating 5”. He has fought hard to eliminate regulation of financial markets and institutions.
Will it work? Well, it looks like McCain is claiming he’s strongly pro-regulation and his campaign is claiming he’s strongly anti-regulation, and that the real problem was that there are still too many regulations protecting our savings and homes. Do the two opinions cancel each other out and make him a person who has no idea what he thinks, like, again?
In a forum I participate in, someone posted this link, a cartoon strip which attempts to break down the mortgage crisis in terms the typical reader can understand.
I previously linked to a YouTube video of a couple of Englishmen, who were explaining how the whole financial mess can be attributed to the actions of a sleazy mortgage broker offering a subprime mortgage to an uneducated black man in a string vest who was living in a rented shack in Mississippi. The man had not even requested the mortgage to buy the property. He was approached by the salesman as he sat on his porch.
The video followed the steps that followed the loan, as it was converted into an “asset” and repackaged and sold repeatedly, each step acquiring a higher rating as it lost information that would have revealed the actual chance that the money would be paid off by the borrower.
Alas, the video is no more. But to respond, I made the following post:
There are more actors in the story than the comic strip implies, and I see the homebuyer as being seriously mischaracterized.
There are two types of homebuyers that play a role in this crisis: the crass investor, and the dumb homeowner. The crass investor took out dozens of subprime mortgages on properties because he realized he could game the system and make a ton of money on the next sale before the rate rose, thanks to escalating real estate prices. He probably did it with a shell corporation. The dumb homeowner is in fact a typical person who buys a home.
Mortgages are complicated financial documents, and a person who is not experienced in law and finance cannot be expected to fully understand them. That’s why lenders have a legal responsibility to the public to explain them honestly and lend responsibly.
The two have been synthesized into the supposedly typical “crass homeowner”, who deliberately set out to buy a home he knew he could not afford by taking out a mortgage that he planned to walk away from.
Describing homeowners this way makes it easy to claim that there’s equal blame for everybody—My God, those hedge fund operators are victims, too! Those borrowers should never have taken out morgages they didn’t understand!—when in fact it was irresponsible mortgage salesmen and mortgage officers at banks that often lied to people and told them they were getting a mortgage they would be able to afford, while they were often writing subprime mortgages for people who would have qualified for fixed rate mortgages, mortgages that paid lower commissions.
The fact that subprime mortgages even exist is due to failings of government regulation. It goes without saying that Congress was lobbied extensively to pass legislation that would make this all possible. The fact that they were bundled and resold without regard to their value, again, this could not have happened without legislation that permitted it to happen.
The government is spending untold billions of taxpayer dollars to assume the losses of the guys on top. That’s money going directly from people living on the street to the ultra wealthy who sucked the money out of the system while it was good and sent it abroad, or faked paper losses.
A little peek into how morgages used to happen should provide some needed contrast.
Now let’s look at who’s been minding the henhouse for the past generation in Congress: John McCain, who was personally responsible for the Savings and Loan Crisis. But some people never learn.