Archive for July, 2008

Should McCain select Romney as VP?

Posted in Activism on July 31, 2008 by poyers

An interesting article from Real Clear Politics.  Basically it says that Romney would make an awesome attack dog for McCain.  From the article, “Never in his political career has Obama encountered an opponent who can land a blow as well as Romney. Furthermore, picking Romney will help retain McCain’s reputation. If McCain does not have to attack Obama, he can return to being the maverick straight talker. ”

 

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/horseraceblog/2008/08/mccain_should_pick_romney_and.html

Obama a socialist?

Posted in Activism on July 30, 2008 by poyers

I am not too sure about this.  He has a lot of free trade instincts.  But thus says Investors Business Daily:

http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=302137342405551

McCain vs. Freddie Mac & Fannie Mae: The Candidate of Change

Posted in Activism on July 30, 2008 by poyers

There will be no more business as usual for housing lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac if John McCain is elected president. That’s McCain’s clear message in a recent hard-hitting op-ed in the St. Petersburg Times and in various straight-talk media interviews.

Politically powerful Fannie and Freddie may be popping champagne corks in Washington, where a congressional bailout package provides full government backing for their outsized management pay packages, massive political-contribution and lobbying practices, and private portfolio hedge-fund activities. These government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) got just what they wanted, and they now have the power to pay more dividends to their shareholders without any caps on compensation.

But Big Mac is gonna put an end to this if he’s elected come November.

“Americans should be outraged at the latest sweetheart deal in Washington,” writes McCain. “Congress will put U.S. taxpayers on the hook for potentially hundreds of billions of dollars to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It’s a tribute to what these two institutions — which most Americans have never heard of — have bought with more than $170-million worth of lobbyists in the past decade.” 

Fannie and Freddie represent the worst of Washington’s bailout fever. Using government power for private profit is how Wall Street Journal editor Paul Gigot puts it. Privatizing gains while socializing losses is the complaint registered by former House majority leader Dick Armey. Government semi-socialism is how I see it.

The GSEs spread political vigorish in turn for more power and more privilege. Just this year alone their portfolio caps were raised twice while their capital reserve requirements were lowered. And now, with an explicit government guarantee, unlimited credit lines, and the possibility of federal stock purchases, they’ll be GSEs on steroids. All this in the name of helping housing, the most favored political sector in the American economy.

Budget assistance for homebuyers is already staggering. The Housing and Urban Development department spends $52 billion a year. The home mortgage interest deduction is worth about $80 billion yearly. A capital-gains exclusion is estimated at $29 billion. And the local property-tax deduction comes to roughly $14 billion. That’s a total of $175 billion in annual assistance to the housing sector. And that’s before we get to the Fannie-Freddie bailout.

Some people talk about a so-called Marshall Plan to spur American energy independence. But for years we’ve had a Marshall Plan for housing. It’s enough already. There are other economic sectors worthy of investment.

John McCain has taken a strong reform position here, and he’s totally right. This is McCain at his very best. He argues that Fannie and Freddie employees manipulated financial reports to line the pockets of senior executives. He calls the GSEs a danger to financial markets. And he says if one dime of taxpayer money ends up in those institutions “the management and the board should immediately be replaced, multimillion dollar salaries should be cut, and bonuses and other compensation should be eliminated. They should cease all lobbying activities and drop all payments to outside lobbyists.”

He also argues for strong regulation of Fan and Fred “that limits their ability to borrow, shrinks their size until they are no longer a threat to our economy, and privatizes and eliminates their links to the government.”

McCain economic advisor Steve Forbes wants to breakup Fannie and Freddie into 10 or 12 companies, completely severing their ties to the government. With these private companies competing in the mortgage market, Forbes says the entire housing sector will be revived, with taxpayers off the hook for a change.

On the other hand, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is putting his reform hopes on new Fannie-Freddie regulator James Lockhart, who runs the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight. Lockhart is a reformist skeptic of Fannie and Freddie. But his term would only last until year-end. After that, his successor will be subject to Senate confirmation and a public grilling from the two banking committees, all while Fan and Fred pour money into the campaign coffers of the Democrats and Republicans serving on those committees.

Does this sound like true reform? Highly doubtful. In fact, the bailout bill should be completely rewritten to stipulate the kind of privatization program outlined by Sen. McCain.

Former Reagan Treasury official Peter Wallison has warned for years that Fannie and Freddie would blow up financial markets. Well, we just witnessed the blow-up. But now we should also blow up the Fannie-Freddie bailout. It’s not real reform.

Obama won’t do it. He says there must be an essential role for Fan and Fred. And Obama advisor Franklin Raines — the former Fannie Mae CEO who was forced to resign over accounting scandals — argues for the status quo. But McCain is talking real reform. Bravo for the Arizonan. He’s the real candidate of change.

How grown-ups talk about the war

Posted in Activism on July 28, 2008 by poyers

For those of us who were not ardent supporters of John McCain and still begrudge some of his positions, it is speeches and explanations like this that allow me to support him.  Just because there are aspects of his platform that you do not support, you should not abandon him and the Republican party.  Rather, support the great things about John McCain and work hard to help him to understand your positions on some of those that you do not like.  Let us help him to understand why we feel the way that we do on certain issues and support him even more on those issues where we agree.  Like one of my favorite people once said, bring all of the good that you have and see if we cannot add to it; and I will add on my own, see if you cannot add to what is there.

http://www.johnmccain.com/Informing/News/Speeches/4fc06166-2720-44f6-8825-d2b94d7d3600.htm

The Golden Boy’s Golden Rhetoric

Posted in Activism on July 25, 2008 by poyers

From David Brooks:

it is more than half a year on, and the post-partisanship of Iowa has given way to the post-nationalism of Berlin, and it turns out that the vague overture is the entire symphony. The golden rhetoric impresses less, the evasion of hard choices strikes one more.

Read the rest here: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/25/opinion/25brooks.html?_r=2&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&pagewanted=all&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

The Biblical Obama

Posted in Activism on July 25, 2008 by poyers

This is absolutely hysterical.  And they said you could not mock him:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/gerard_baker/article4392846.ece

Obama our Commander in Chief and the troops he must lead

Posted in Politics on July 24, 2008 by poyers

Anecdotal to be sure, but not surprising.  This is an important thing right here:

Evidently, if you’re a soldier in Afghanistan and there are no cameras around to record how much you love the troops, you can blow them off if you are Barack Obama.Blackfive got an email yesterday from a soldier in Bagram, Afghanistan that tells what happened when Obama visited the base

I wanted to share with you what happened. He got off the plan[sic] and got into a bullet proof vehicle, got to the area to meet with the Major General (2 Star) who is the commander here at Bagram. As the Soldiers where lined up to shake his hand he blew them off and didn’t say a word as he went into the conference room to meet the General. As he finished, the vehicles took him to the ClamShell (pretty much a big top tent that military personnel can play basketball or work out in with weights) so he could take his publicity pictures playing basketball. He again shunned the opportunity to talk to Soldiers to thank them for their service. So really he was just here to make a showing for the American’s back home that he is their candidate for President. I think that if you are going to make an effort to come all the way over here you would thank those that are providing the freedom that they are providing for you. I swear we got more thanks from the NBA Basketball Players or the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders than from one of the Senators, who wants to be the President of the United States. I just don’t understand how anyone would want him to be our Commander-and-Chief. It was almost that he was scared to be around those that provide the freedom for him and our great country.

 

And Hot Air has news that Obama actually dropped a scheduled meeting with soldiers in Germany so that he wouldn’t miss his big speech
The message here is that thousands of screaming German fans at the Tiergarten take precedence over visiting Americans serving their country at Rammstein and Landstuhl.  Maybe one of the networks following Obama could interview a few of the soldiers about how they perceive that set of priorities from Obama.

 

And in an update, we discover it wasn’t “scheduling problems” that made Obama miss his date with the troops
Obama canceled a previously-planned stop to visit thousands of American service personnel, including troops wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan being treated at Landstuhl, so he could hold a political rally for Germans and go shopping in Berlin. Now that’s a nice set of priorities for a man who wants to become Commander in Chief.

 

I guess unless he can use troops as props in his little propaganda shows, they mean nothing to him.

Update: Turns out that this little note from a “soldier was a fake”.  The Army asked that is be deleated and not be sent out.  Check out the details at www.snopes.com.  Thanks for the heads-up.