09/20/08 02:18 - 68ºF - ID#45738
Free Market = Faith Based Economy
Remember how Bush wanted to privatize Social Security? Put our retirement in the stock market for 'safe keeping', imagine if that would have passed.
This deregulation nonsense has been going on for decades. The New Deal and consumer protections have slowly disappeared. Clinton, Bush, Regan, Nixon, Carter, LBJ, there's a lot of blame to go around. There have been plenty of warning signs too, Enron, the savings and loan crisis, housing bubbles, etc. But still the "Free Market" has been worshiped like some kind miracle that will fix all of our problems.
The Free Market is dead. Good Riddance.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were government agencies created during the New Deal. Privatized under LBJ to balance the budget, deregulated in future years, now we're paying for what they screwed up.
Investment Banks and Commercial Banks used to be separate. This made our money more secure by keeping it away from risky business. Under Clinton, that changed. Now our banks are floating our money in the stock market. If we all wanted to get our money out of our bank, it wouldn't be there, the bank would go bankrupt.
Debt, that's a new trend too. If you wanted a mortgage you used to need to put 25% down, no matter what. Now all you need is the closing costs to 'buy' a house. Credit Cards were basically invented in the 50s and 60s. Now people don't save any money, really America has a negative savings rate. We just make payments, forever... it's the new serfdom, we're all indentured servants.
Railroads, Airlines, Energy, all deregulated, all in trouble. Taxpayers had to pay for Enron, we had to bail out airlines. And trains have been replaced by trucks that hog oil, wear down our roads, and clog our streets.
Why don't we just privatize the Water systems, schools, Social Security, and healthcare too? Leave it up to the invisible hand of the market.
This crap doesn't save us any money, or make us any better off in the long run.
If the government screws up, we vote them out, impeach them, or put them on trial. If the stock market eats our life savings, the companies fold, and we lose everything, maybe a couple people go to jail, but most of the executives get a fat check from a company that they helped bankrupt. And we don't get our money back, unless it's insured by FDIC, a government program from the New Deal.
So Who thinks reducing government regulation of the economy was a good thing? Don't you feel better off now?
The government is corrupt. Money is power, not People. Politicians went along with this crap because it was in their own self interest.
Government has been demonized for the wrong reasons. It's not the regulations and taxes that are the problem. It's the Corruption. It's the influence of money, and the disregard for the welfare of average people.
Location: Buffalo, NY
09/19/08 05:39 - 72ºF - ID#45732
This offends me on so many levels.
Here's one point that few are mentioning.
Why are these companies suddenly going bankrupt? Because Americans can't pay their debts. The Loans and mortgages aren't being repaid. Why can't Americans pay? Because the housing bubble popped, and people's homes are now worth less than their mortgages they owe. Or people got varriable rate morgages, now they can't afford the interest. So people are going bankrupt and losing their homes in record numbers.
People leave those homes empty, and declare bankruptcy, they have no good options. People got screwed, so the banks are no longer getting all that money they were promised. So.... now the banks are screwed.
Suddenly the government is willing to shovel cash at rich people who mad terrible choices and led their companies into the ground. But when average Americans lost their homes, we called it a Handout, rewarding people who made bad decisions.
Now it's Wall St, and we call it a Bailout, stabilizing the economy. Well, if you'd helped people stay in their homes and pay their debts, this never would have reached Wall St. Why should the middle class bail out Wall St after we were left to fend for ourselves when we were in trouble.
Anybody know how much money the government has put toward helping citizens overcome the housing crisis? I'll bet it's less than $400 billion. But that's what us citizens has given to Wall St over the past year.
Location: Buffalo, NY
09/10/08 01:17 - 62ºF - ID#45623
Lies, Media, Campaigns
What does it say about someone when they repeat a lie over and over again in front of the American people? Especially when that person is trying to get those same people to vote for them. Especially when they're running for the highest office in the land.
McCain, Palin, and the Republicans don't respect democracy, they don't respect you, they think we're a bunch of gullible morons.
They Lie about Obama's tax plan, healthcare plan, energy plan and his voting record. They lie about the bridge to nowhere. They lie about their record, and they say one thing while their actions tell us the opposite.
The Republicans are on record saying facts and issues don't matter, people vote for a composite image of the candidate. Ok, and you're going to build that image with lies? Excuse me, but elections are NOT a fucking game.
This country is in dire straights, but Republicans would rather win an election than offer solutions. Straight talk my ass.
Tell me if Obama, or his campaign has lied about McCain and Palin. I can find false internet rumors, but nothing from the actual Obama Campaign.
The media should call a lie when they see one. There aren't always two sides to a story. Journalists need to set the record straight, and realize that lies are not just a matter of opinion. I've noticed some indications that they may start doing more fact checking, if they don't, they fail.
Location: Buffalo, NY
09/04/08 08:57 - 68ºF - ID#45560
The conventions are basically a string of monologues, speeches in front of sympathetic crowds. It's much more difficult when you have someone questioning your assertions in a debate, press conference or interview.
The thing that bugs me about the Republicans, at least the ones who get the most attention, is that they don't respect the truth. And when they get up in front of the TV cameras and distort the facts, they are insulting the American people. Say whatever it takes to get elected, turn the elections into lip service, the goal is to win, who cares how you get there.
I watched Romney, Giuliani, Huckabee, some of Lieberman, and Palin. I knew what was bullshit, but not everyone does. I was happy to find this article from the AP when I woke up, At least to AP noticed it too.
Here's an AP fact check of Palin's speech, and some other statements:
And a few debunked claims from Liberman and Fred Thompson:
I want to take people to court who lie to the American people like this.
Location: Buffalo, NY
09/02/08 03:16 - 81ºF - ID#45540
Way too much news
At the RNC convention the Police FBI and Sheriffs departments are PREEMPTIVELY arresting journalists and activists who are connected to any and all protests in St Paul. They are arresting people without court approval and holding them on Conspiricy charges, which means they have 36 hours to get evidence against them before they have to let them go.
Pre-emptive Raids? That means breaking into a house and storming into the room with automatic weapons drawn (no bullshit) where peaceful activists are planning protests. Before the activists even set foot in the streets.
independent Journalists are a common target, video and photo equipment is confiscated, erased, and kept for a few days to prevent journalists from exercising their constitutional duty.
This is so extreme that 3 of the top people from the Democracy Now! were detained, including Amy Goodman. For those who may not know, Democracy Now! is independent journalism at its finest, the forerunners of Pacifica radio, and also on TV. They ask the difficult questions, they are always professional, and they get eyewitness interviews from inside jails and conflict zones, their reputation and huge network of independent journalists means they get the critical stories and perspectives that mainstream media misses. The one thing they stand up for above all else is the rights of journalists and average people to know what their government is doing and respond to it, without fear of arrest, injury or death. They have saved many journalist's lives and reputations worldwide, over the years simply shedding light on the injustice of their detention.
Now the challenges of journalists in America are apparently the worst in a generation.
How did the DNC handle the protests there? Well they faced some problems too. Many of the police in Denver were not wearing name tags, a way to avoid persecution for excessive force and other violations. There was a huge free, Rage Against the Machine concert that kicked off a protest march that was determined to enter the convention and read a list of demands from the floor. Tear gas was ready to fly outside the convention as it already had in previous days, but the Obama campaign came out and spoke to the leaders of the protest and treated them with dignity. Crisis avoided. And though it was a small gesture, it did a lot for Obama's credibility among the activists who would likely protest again in November by voting for Independent Parties.
God Hates Republicans
What other conclusion can you make? A hurricane on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, that forces their convention to do improv. But the hurricane was not fierce enough to allow republicans to grandstand during the search and rescue effort. The levees barely held. The whole event just served to remind people that Katrina was a whole 3 years ago, and New Orleans is still a disaster.
Republicans trying to out Democrat the Democrats
This is the fun part. McCain finally picks a VP, Sarah Palin, she comes out and appears on the national stage with him for the first time. During that event, both republicans tried to use Democratic talking points as their own. McCain within the first minute of the speech "you want your government to understand what you're going through, to stand on your side and fight for you. That's what I intend to do" I also notice McCain is trying to look like a man of the people more by abandoning the suit and tie, and using a loose button up shirt more often.
Palin's speech was almost a parody of the DNC. She talks first about her family one by one, then her roots as an average schmo in Alaska, before thanking Hillary Clinton and trying to sound like a feminist. And she ends the speech with this "The next 67 days I'm going to take our campaign to every part of our country and our message of reform to every voter of every background, in every political party, or no party at all. If you want change in Washington, if you hope for a better America, then we're asking for your vote on the 4th of November."
I have to laugh, and cheer a bit about this whole thing. The DNC pulled the rug out from under a host of traditional republican issues. Like the faith based free market economy. Trickle Down economics. Tax cuts for the top. Bankrupt the government it's my money. Me first, everyone else fend for yourselves. And foreign policy, reminding us who abandoned an unfinished war in Afghanistan to go fight for some geopolitical pipe dream in Iraq.
I had a feeling that we could change the debate this year. All the energy of the Democrats and progressives determined to turn this country around. An excellent, empathetic leader and speaker like Obama. And the limitless evidence, given to us over the past 8 years, of the failure of the conservative philosophy. All these things create an opportunity to move away from wedge issues, and toward a government that does its job. A government that plans for the future, invites public participation, and maximizes the potential of every American, so that as a country we rise together.
The Liberal philosophy is a patriotic one, I've been talking about it for years. Finally Liberals are not ashamed of their ideas, they used the DNC to show America what we stand for. And America liked it :) They liked it so much, that the McCain campaign freaked out and started trying to turn a man who owns 7 houses, into a man of the people, a working class hero. It realy makes me a little giddy. Probably a good move, but I doubt it will save the Republican Party.
You know more people watched Obama's speech than the Olympics opening ceremonies, and the American Idol finale. In fact there are only 4 football games including the super bowl that got higher ratings this year.
Also Focus on the Family asks people to pray for rain during Obama's speech, no goal, republicans not on God's good side.
It will be interesting to see the RNC, and what happens with their VP choice, much info coming out now. But at least it's entertaining.
Politics is finally more interesting than Reality TV. Hooray!
Location: Buffalo, NY