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What it will take to get the Democrats’ attention

This is my favorite photograph from a compilation of photos taken during The Great Depression.  The photos were commissioned by the US Government as part of a FSA-OWI project.

Hauling Peaches in Colorado During the Great Depression

Hauling Peaches in Colorado During the Great Depression

There are ominous signs on the horizon.  Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy today.  Other financial institutions are failing and a great majority of middle income households have their savings tied up in 401Ks and investments where the investment professionals themselves don’t know what the hell they’re doing.  They were able to structure “instruments” to get around government regulation. Women have seen a sharp spike in unemployment in the past quarter. And we have two candidates who are both ill-equipped to handle what is about to happen.  One is committed to his party’s ideology but seems to possess the personal mettle to withstand a crisis.  The other has spurned his party’s ideollogy and has no practical experience in dealing with tough situations with any kind of personal fortitude.

It will take a Depression to get the Democrats to focus on what is important.

Here is the link to the FSA-OWI site at the Library of Congress with more pictures of the Depression because those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it.

117 Responses

  1. RD,
    There’s no doubt about it. The economic situation is scary. And we unfortunately do have two completely clueless candidates when it comes to that.

    The best we can do right now if focus on the downtickets who have the knowledge and ability and drive to change things for the better in this country.

  2. shhhh, I just bought a house, don’t scare me like that.

  3. So your solution is to vote for the guy who thinks the economy is fundamentally sound?

  4. One is committed to his party’s ideology but seems to possess the personal mettle to withstand a crisis. The other has spurned his party’s ideollogy and has no practical experience in dealing with tough situations with any kind of personal fortitude.


  5. I’ve heard about the depression my whole life, since my parents lived through it. I hope and pray that there are still enough protections in the system to prevent a total meltdown. But it does not look good at all.

  6. Ben: Pay attention! Neither candidate is cut out for what is coming. If you don’t like it, don’t whine to us. Go blame a superdelegate.

  7. Ben, will you please provide a direct quote from RD in which she recommends that anyone vote for McCain. That’s right. You can’t, because she never said that.

  8. Sorry to be an echo, RD. I have to stop jumping in to defend you for today. You do it so much better.

  9. McCain kicking ass on the economy in FL now. Talking about corruption, and how some on Wall Street have treated the American economy like a casino.

    Talking about greed, and breaking the public trust. He may be wrong on many things re: the economy, but he is RIGHT on that.

  10. NH: Do you feel that Obama adheres to his party’s ideology? I don’t. It’s all post-partisan this and bi-partisan that and yes to the stupid FISA bill. And no, I don’t think Obama is acquainted with adversity.

  11. I have no idea what Obama thinks about the economy, and I don’t think he does either.

  12. Ben McKnight,
    No, work for down ticket Dems to get a Congress with backbone and some integrity and then, elect strong leadership, Hillary Clinton for Majority Leader and her counterpart in the House. I don’t think that Obama can turn this election around and we have precious little resources to use and I will not use it on a person who is unelectable. Hillary Clinton has been prescient on this and has developed policies to address this grave crisis. She completely understands the gravity, has the gravitas, the intellect and yes the fortitude to get us through this crisis – she can do it from Congress if we can deliver a Congress that she can lead.

  13. bostonboomer, on September 15th, 2008 at 12:41 pm Said:

    I’ve heard about the depression my whole life, since my parents lived through it. I hope and pray that there are still enough protections in the system to prevent a total meltdown. But it does not look good at all.

    I heard the same stories…The goal of the GOP for decades has been to dismantle the “New Deal”. They finally did it with Bush. I think all of the economic safe guards to prevent another Great Depression are gone.

  14. OT but telling: I just heard on the radio (Fon news) that Obama’s 18 point lead in NY in June, the bluest of blue states, is now down to FIVE!!!!

  15. RD: And no, I don’t think Obama is acquainted with adversity.

    Oh, come now – don’t you remember those questions while he was trying to eat those waffles? It probably still gives him nightmares.

  16. All I can think about today – We need Hillary in charge and we need Bill advising.

    What a mess.

  17. That was FOX, iPhone changes letters sometimes…

  18. NH: Do you feel that Obama adheres to his party’s ideology? I don’t. It’s all post-partisan this and bi-partisan that and yes to the stupid FISA bill. And no, I don’t think Obama is acquainted with adversity.

    In truth, I wasn’t certain who was who, because I don’t think either is committed to their Party Ideology, although I agree that Obama is not committed to anything exept Obama.

    I do agree that neither has the economic background to get us out of this mess, and neither has made proposals that make me feel optomistic. It will depend on their advisors and although that leans me toward McCain, neither gives me confidence.

  19. Actually Obama had said he’d filibuster FISA– before he voted for it.

    I say yes, I say no,
    I say stop and I say go, go, go…

  20. Stealing these quotes from a comment over at TalkLeft:
    “The challenges facing our financial system today are more evidence that too many folks in Washington and on Wall Street weren’t minding the store,” Obama said. “Eight years of policies that have shredded consumer protections, loosened oversight and regulation, and encouraged outsized bonuses to CEOs while ignoring middle-class Americans have brought us to the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression.

    “The McCain-Palin administration will replace the outdated and ineffective patchwork quilt of regulatory oversight in Washington and bring transparency and accountability to Wall Street. We will rebuild confidence in our markets and restore our leadership in the financial world.”

    To me Obama is just saying:”It’s all their fault!” (true enough) but he’s not telling me what he’s gonna do about it. Panic!
    McCain’s statement is all about taking charge.
    Who sounds readier to lead?
    It’s like BgDawg used to say — people will pick strong and wrong over uncertain and right everytime.

  21. typo — Big DAw, not BgDawg, sorry

  22. Aaahh, just shoot me I can’t type at all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. Great point votermom. And as for the spelling, the font on my view of this website is so small I’m surprised I spell anything right.

  24. Votermom,

    We knew what you meant.

  25. We know who the Big Dawg is, and we love him, however you spell it 🙂

  26. hillary had the solutions – back in january. here is her original economic stimulus package. she proposed $30 billion for emergency housing relief – obama proposed $10 billion. guess who was right.


  27. Our Democratic Congress saw this coming. Looking at the roster, do you know how many deal with the large investment banks, have invested in them, have protected them for sweetheart deals? I work in this industry and my colleagues laugh over it: “when it comes to money the only party politicians belong to is called Greed.”

    I’m beginning to believe that neither republicans or democrats care about the people. As a Chicagoan I see it every day with the Chicago Machine Daley says doesn’t exist.

    We do need to build fresh, from the bottom up. Those we elect should only be permitted 2 terms, period. Every decision should be carefully vetted, and like Palin, all acitivities, budgets, spreadsheets, should be posted online. Patronage, nepotism et al should be regulated out of existance. Politicians should not be permitted to fund their campaign through any kind of corporate money, only what people donate on their tax return – which should be changed from presidential campaign to all campaigns.

    It’s a travesty when politicians use the system (Wall Street) and traitorous acts (asking countires to delay actions which would be good for the US and our troops as well as the country involved) just to forward their own selfish self-interest.

    Nothing ill-gotten remains secret for long. Both Democrats and Republicans are complicit in what may turn out to be the most devasting economic problem in decades (BTW the US has agreed to allow the IMF to review its economic policies and economy. The biggest fear other countries have is that when our economy goes bust so will everyone else’s, like a domino effect).

    But then, while the people suffer, the rich will not lose anything. Not even in “socialist” countries.

  28. fif: “I just heard on the radio (Fon news) that Obama’s 18 point lead in NY in June, the bluest of blue states, is now down to FIVE!!!!”

    ummhhhl…I wonder where the closest Mc campaign office is?

  29. votermom: it’s even more curious than that. Obama’s whole schtick has been that he wants to work with Republicans. But how can you work with a party that doesn’t represent anything you believe in and who you admit is corrupt as all get out?
    McCain/Palin are coming from within that corrupt party and are mincing no words. They’re saying they know that the system is bad and they want to reform it.
    It sounds to me like Obama is a joiner.

  30. Dee – the problem is that the first major financial crisis, the tech stock bubble, built up on William J. Clinton’s watch. Poor oversight on so many fronts.

  31. W. did exactly what Coolidge and Harding did in the 1920’s – massive tax cuts to business and individuals. The stock market boomed.


  32. Limbaugh is angry about regulation talk, claims it is entitlement programs and the lack of a true free market that has caused this– a lack of accountability. He goes on to say that the New Deal was created to ensure Dem control and only enriches the ones who create and run these programs and lobbyists. He lays the blame for the current problems at the feet of banking officials and reps like C. Dodd. Well, that’s certainly a pure conservative take.

  33. Happy birthday to me, Happy birthday to me, I-just-moved-back-to-the-U.S.-and-I’m-looking-for-a-job-after-18-years-away-and-woke-up-to-these-financial-news-headlines, Happy birthday to me. My timing is impeccable.

  34. After the stock market crash, Hoover stepped in:

    That position was challenged by the Great Depression, which began in 1929, the first year of his presidency. Hoover tried to combat the Depression with volunteer efforts and government action, none of which produced economic recovery during his term.

    Who wants to clean up Bush’s mess? Who wants to be Hoover? I’m waiting for Roosevelt (Clinton).

  35. The WaPo piece RD links above says this, at the end:

    “So far, the conflagration has only singed the broader U.S. economy. Gross domestic product grew at a 3.3 percent annual rate in the second quarter, and the unemployment rate has risen sharply this year but, at 6.1 percent, is not as high as it has been in past bad economic times.”

    The economy itself is no where near a depression.

  36. One of the main reasons I voted for Hillary Clinton was my belief that she had the knowledge to turn the economy around. Our economy has been precarious at best for a number of years and now seems to be imploding.

    The economy is one reason I will vote for Mark Warner for the Senate. Warner turned the Virginia economy around after it was trashed by Gilmore.

    Mountain Sage

  37. Happy birthday, Ms. Marple.

  38. Somebody should point out to Rush Limbaugh that the Republicans controlled Congress until a year and a half ago, and could have done as they pleased with a sympathetic President.

  39. sod – That “body language” thing cracks me up.

  40. Mountain Sage, I was hoping for a dream ticket of Hillary Clinton and Mark Warner. Oh well, maybe next time.

  41. For Obama to lose New York would be like losing Chicago– but it sure is a beautiful thought.

  42. Sorry to hear that, Ms. Marple. Hope you get a job soon. My best wishes to you.

  43. I have read that McCain introduced Senate legislation in 2005 which would have brought hedge funds and their dubious financial “instruments” under federal regulation. Apparently he couldn’t get it to move. I can’t really vouch for this though.

  44. upstateNY, i’m worried about the downticket dems. I’m voting for Gillibrand and I’m worried about her chances. her ads have been great but the republican also makes a lot of sense

  45. Do not overlook the connivance of Nancy Pelosi in the ongoing financial meltdown. She assigned Rep. Barney Frank to address the foreclosure crisis. Frank, instead of going with an FDR-style bankruptcy reorganization, rejected the call for a moratorium on foreclosures (which had been put forward by Hillary in New Hampshire), and asked the banks to write his bill!

    As a result, we got the Dodd-Frank bill written by the same predatory financial interests which created the crisis in the first place — courtesy of Speaker Pelosi. She must go!!

  46. When removing the “watchdogs” you invite the crooks to “come on in!”. Hang out a sign reading “Nobody home, key under the mat, help yourself!” And they did just that. Is anyone accountable? Nope. Send it back to the taxpayer and mark it “C.O.D.” What the hell, he can’t afford to go anyplace since the cost of gas is prohibitive.

    This must be what is known then as a “free market”.

  47. Oh God, the choices presented by these two tickets are so bad; almost like trying to decide which one of Jerry Lewis’s movies is the best!

  48. fif–Limbaugh is an idiot. We don’t have a free market economy–what we have is a free-for-all economy. It has been proven time and time again that the private sector cannot be trusted to self-regulate.

  49. Even with a sore throat and temperature, Riverdaughter writes like a dream.

  50. The Obama campaign can’t ask donors to form outside groups; it can only communicate, through the public and the media, with body language, tells and hints.

    What’s next, pantomime? Like an old Buster Keaton movie where he keeps pulling out the pockets of his pants to show they are empty. Jeebus!

  51. Hillary Clinton must be the Majority Leader and her counterpart in the House also. To get to that, we, the voters, must get a Dem Congress in that understands this economic crisis. Unless there is a way to get Obama to step aside (I don’t think that his enablers have the guts or the willingness to make him do it), than, our best hope is to get that Congress.

    Solutions, solutions and solutions – Hillary’s forte. We need Hillary Clinton leading the Congress to pass the measures to get us out of this nightmare.

  52. I just got back from spending 10 days in LA with my 90-year-old Grandma. She remembers the Depression very well. She told me she’s glad that she’s not going to be around a whole lot longer, because it’s all looking too familiar. She also said that’s what it’s going to take–a Depression to show us what hard times are really like. She’s glad she didn’t invest any money in the stock market, but some of the banks in SoCal where she has her CD’s are in trouble. Coffee cans in the backyard, anyone?

  53. Pelosi should be our next Lieberman IMO. She needs to be made an example of.

  54. Pelosi left her heart in San Francisco. She needs to go back and retrieve it.

  55. one thing for sure, taxing the only people who can bring jobs to the forefront is not wise, and i aint never been hired by a poor person, so now aint the time to tax the wealthy, and we know that does include small businesses which Sarah Paling talked about today.

    I just aint into redistributing the money from the wealthy to the middle and poor…most middle have worked the butts off to get what they got, and most poor want a better life, so heck, taxing the people who micht could deliver some jobs aint where it’s at you great people

  56. carollowery–There are probably a number of Republican blogs that would appreciate your uninformed economic comments.

  57. Yeah, and I am all for Paris Hilton buying another home in the Hamptons. Just tax me some more, I’m just loving it!

  58. At this point the Bush Administration has failed, but then again our congress has done nothing to help.

    But the Feds are not the only ones that are clueless. Here in Florida I received an email several weeks ago from Alex Sink our Democratic Florida Chief Financial Officer taking comments on short sales of Florida homes. It seems in Florida our state wants to make it harder for sellers upside down on their mortgages to sell. Instead of the seller paying documentary stamp tax on the actual sales price of the property, our wonderful state is looking into the seller paying documentary stamp tax on the outstanding mortgage debt.

    So where’s the consumer protection? The people as in “we the people” as being attacked from the state and the feds. There appears to be no help in sight.

  59. That could be my paternal grandfather in that photo. They were migrant fruit pickers like those in “The Grapes of Wrath”.

  60. Speaking of apoptosis, it looks like the U.S. economy is undergoing apoptosis. The only difference is that apoptosis is progrmmed cell death that operates according to evolutionarily defined circuits and pathways. The apoptosis the economy is experiencing isn’t programmed at all and it;s not operating according to any rules. It’s more akin to cellular chaos, which of course frequently leads to cancer which frequently leads to death.

    Is this the death spiral of American prosperity for years to come?

    It could very well be. And who is it that’s going to lead us out of this wildernss? We have two choices, a tired old man who thinks former Sentor Phil Gram (whose tenure in the Senate partially caused this mess) has all the answers. Or an inexperienced charlatan who seems to think he can call on his father (that would be the Lord) to solve the problem.


  61. My favorite book of all time, “The Grapes of Wrath”. I probably have read and reread it about 5 times in 30 years. Steinbeck had me tasting the dust.

  62. Pat,

    I love “Grapes of Wrath,” too.

  63. Plural,

    Most Republicans are not conservatives. The conservatives never had control of Congress. If they had, they would have reformed Medicare and Social Security and never passed another huge unfunded entitlement–the prescription drug bill.

    I don’t agree with Limbaugh in solely blaming Dodd, Waxman et al although they are certainly guilty of being in bed with the Wall St. barons just as much as any other Washington politicians. The real problem is that financial institutions lent money they did not have to people who could not afford to pay it back. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were formed by the government to “guarantee liquidity” in the nations mortgage markets. Fannie and Freddie own about 50% of the nation’s mortgages. Fannie and Freddie assume most of the risk when a bank or mortgage broker makes a loan. If there is no risk to making a loan, then a mortgage seller is motivated to write as many mortgages to as many people as possible, regardless of their credit-worthiness.

    We can debate whether more regulation is necessary to control the mortgage markets, but there are plenty of regulations now and these Wall St. guys, armed with the best lawyers and accountants, will always find a way around them. The damage from the housing bubble is done now, but the best way to prevent this from happening in the future is to diversify the financial markets by breaking up the big oligopolies and making investors (be they mortgage sellers or home buyers) responsible for the decisions they make.

  64. OT: Grapes of Wrath is very moving — but the VeggieTales version is funny! It’s a song…

    We are the grapes of wrath
    We never take a bath!

  65. Here is the Democrat challenging the Coryn in Texas for the Senate.

    “Dear Carol,

    I hope this note finds you safe.

    Hurricane Ike’s effects have been devastating. It’s critical we get millions of Texans the help they need.

    I reported to Camp Mabry, serving with the 36th Division Headquarters, Texas Army National Guard, with the G-3 section charged with operations and planning. During this time, I am canceling campaign events.

    I encourage you to volunteer with your local Red Cross.

    And please consider making a donation to the Red Cross.

    Together, we can make a difference.

    For Texas,

    Rick Noriega

    Disclaimer: Rick Noriega is a member of the Army National Guard. Use of his military rank, job titles, and photographs in uniform does not imply endorsement by the Department of the Army or the Department of Defense.

    Paid for by Rick Noriega for Texas”

  66. I don’t quite remember who said it, could have been Casey Stengel, but “throw the bums out” is the most apt saying when applied to the present group in congress. The other apt phrase comes from Alice in Wonderland, “off with their heads”.

  67. My parents were depression-era babies who grew up in the South to boot! Talk about being dirt-poor!

    I know the Lehman Bros. thing is causing fallout as well as the situation with Merrill Lynch being bought by B.O.A. However, where was the concern when these firms were handing out the humongous bonuses in the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars? Nada…zip. Nothing was said about the firms’ precarious situations.

    At some point, accountability of the CEOs has to be raised. They knew the housing mess was a looming disaster.

  68. “Consumer protection” is just another misnomer. Like “Obama, ready on day one”.

  69. The troll emergency cramming school session is over.

    Keep your eyes out for the new memes.

    They seem to be trying singing about the economy. They are not making sense. But they hope to induce panic and distract us.

    Don’t be fooled.

  70. Off-topic but…Oprah show being boycotted?


  71. Sorry…grabbed it wrong. Let’s see if this one works:


  72. Oh well, won’t grab the video. Anyway, Oprah show being boycotted cuz she won’t put Palin on the show. it’s on CNN.

  73. My local newspaper ran an interesting opinion piece this morning from the Washington Post. The authors, both former Bushies, claim that the Bush admin has been trying to get increased regulation of Fannie and Freddie since 2002, but that the Democrats have repeatedly blocked the reforms. Why? Campaign bucks, pure and simple. Every time the reform issue was brought up, Freddie and Fannie flooded Washington with dollars. The biggest recipients: Dodd, Kerry, Obama, and Clinton (yes, unfortunately).

    “Not surprisingly, these efforts worked,” wrote Al Hubbard and Noam Neusner. “Leaders in Congress did not just balk at proposals to rein in Fannie and Freddie. They mocked the proposals as unserious and unnecessary.

    “Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., said the following on Sept. 11, 2003: ‘We see entities that are fundamentally sound financially. … And even if there were a problem, the federal government doesn’t bail them out.’ ”

    The article goes on to say, “As recently as last summer, when housing prices had clearly peaked and the mortgage market had started to seize up, Dodd called on Bush to ‘immediately reconsider his ill-advised’ reform proposals. Frank, now chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said the president’s suggestion for a strong, independent regulator of Fannie and Freddie was ‘inane.’ ”

    Now my opinion: Legislators in Washington have a lot to answer for, including many in my own Democratic Party. McCain/Palin led reform is looking better and better to me, and I am not at all sure that I’m going to be supporting downticket Democrats. I finally have opened my eyes to the partisan B.S. and I am not liking what I see.

    P.S.: Tried to find a link to this Washington Post article, but couldn’t find it in today’s articles. Because my local paper tends largely to process Monday’s paper on the previous Saturday, I suspect the article was published late last week or on Saturday.

  74. WaPo had a piece on their front page on Sunday, a supposed “news” piece that tried very hard to blame the Clinton administration for Fannie/Freddie, which of course were DC insider powerhouses long before Clinton came to town.

    The Bushies are very busy trying to duck responsibility for these financial messes.

  75. The troll juku is over for the day and the power-crickets are out chriping about the economy.

    I’m going to look up the New Yorker interview with Michelle Obama where she talks about piano lessons and the importance of organic foods. (Sarah Palin shops in thrifts stores.)

    Obama near my money? Not a chance.

  76. There was a great series of articles in the WSJ about the Bear Stearns meltdown a couple of months ago. The same thing is happening to Lehman now. Too much power concentrated in the hands of too few people. When people with bad credit are getting 0% down loans at teaser interest rates to buy a $750,000 house in Modesto, you would think it would be an indicator that something is very wrong.

    The essential difference between this meltdown and the tech meltdown is that this time the government is bailing out the losers, i.e. the taxpayers are the losers instead of the people who made the bad investments. If a financial institution is run by idiots, then bankruptcy is nature’s way of solving the problem.

    I do agree that the bonuses paid to these Wall St. CEOs and investment bankers have historically been out of all proportion to their merits. However, that is generally the province of that company’s board of directors. Unfortunately, in some cases the directors of public companies have failed in their fiduciary duties–for which they should pay a price.

  77. Also off-topic, if anyone hasn’t seen Reclusive Leftist’s collection of Palin quotes, it’s really worth a read. I like the one about the beauty pageant being something she just had to do at the time to get a college education.


    It’s very enlightening. Disagree with her on policy, sure, but it’s become an increasingly creepy “witch burning”. This is where it’s all going off the rails — Palin is not a monster and the more TeamO shriek that she is, the more monstrous they seem themselves. They looked into the abyss and the abyss bit ’em on the ass.

  78. We have seen both parties do essentially whatever the corporations want for decades.. Mr. Biden not only supported, but helped push through the pernicious bankruptcy legislation which was essentially written by the banks and S&Ls. The Democrats have done nothing to protect the consumer or the worker, while the Republicans have no interest whatsoever in them, except to the extent that their work builds corporate profits. The banks, free of any meaningful government oversight, made ridiculously risky loans to greedy people who had no ability to pay for them, but simply wanted a big house. It was great when the prices were going up, profits for all. Except it inevitably ended, as all economic bubbles do. And now the corporations are begging for the bailouts which they made sure that individual debtors could never have.

    Obama has no interest in any of this except to the extent that it might get him elected. He has no idea of what to do. His economic staff is all Chicag0 School of Economics free-marketers. McCain has little idea of what to do, either, except that he was never a corporatist, but an old-style fiscal conservative, who has shown some previous concern for average Americans. Hillary Clinton has more ability to deal with economics than any political figure in this country, but of course the elites who run the Democratic Party were happy to turn their backs on the vast numbers of working people who voted for her, since they really don’t care about them, but only about their own selfish little personal agendas. So now we are truly facing calamitous times, without a rudder. The hard-working people who did not buy houses at the peak of the bubble, who put their money in what they thought were safe havens, who have been working for years without any appreciation in real wages and with health care costs taking more and more out of their limited paycheck–they are now at as much risk as the profligate corporate spenders and wildly speculative individual borrowers. And these dreadful people in the Democratic Party and in the media who were determined that Hillary Clinton would not be our next President, have cheated all of us in a dreadful way, as we face a truly frightening economic future.

  79. Face it, folks, our government stinks and it has betrayed us. Plenty of Dem pols have wedded themselves to lobbyists and big business, voted for lousy legislation, fallen asleep at the switches… The Repubs are just as bad, in some cases worse. Looks like the Gordon Gecko Era is about to come to a bumpy, screeching halt, as the economic obscenities fuse into one giant fustercluck. Those of us who were stripped by Katrina are already living somewhere near the bottom, so the shock for us might not be as awful, but it certainly won’t feel great.

    On the presidential front… What are the chances that a candidate whose early base consisted of careless, cossetted young things, and whose name is synonymous with arugula and unearned promotion, will find himself in the White House next January? I’d said they’re getting slimmer by the moment. I’m certainly no economic genius, but take a look at Sarah Palin: no personal fortune, buys used clothing for herself and her kids, blue collar husband who’s a union member, able to not only cook but shoot the family dinner… In short, she’s the anti-elitist. The nation may be getting poorer by the second, but McCain may well have struck gold up there in Alaska.

  80. graylady,

    Your comments to carollowery are, in my humble opinion, a little off- base. My husband and I also are small business owners, like Palin and her family. Many small businesses, which generate about 80 percent of all jobs in this country, are either set up as sole proprietors (the income is reported on your personal income tax return on a Schedule C) or as a Subchapter S corporation. With a Subchapter S, no profits are left in the corporation at the end of the year, but rather distributed to the owners. The owners then pay personal income taxes on the profits, and lend whatever is left of those profits back to the corporation for working capital.

    What this means is that many small business owners do show more than $250,000 in income on their tax returns, even though they may live on substantially less income. If you raise the tax rates on those making more than $250,000, as Obama is proposing, you will effectively be raising taxes on businesses. The more taxes a business has to pay, the less working capital they have to hire employees and to pay their benefit packages. It most certainly does have a negative impact on jobs. So carollowery has a point.

  81. Make that, “the less working capital it has to hire…”

  82. The current “melt-down” of financial institutions look very suspicious to me. Those who own controlling interests in those corporations are themselves quite wealthy and stand to really make a killing by buying more shares at firesale prices. The only ones who are going to be hurt are the pension funds of hardworking people and small individual investors. FannieMae, FreddieMac, Lehman Bros. and Merril Lynch. I think that these people are starting to believe that McCain will win and possibly change some of the funny rules they have been playing by and so they are doing their “restructuring” before the DC outsiders come in. That was their worst fear of Hillary so they took her out. Obama, they don’t mind because they have been the ones pushing him up because he is manipulable and open to suggestions.

    Perhaps I am just paranoid and see those dark shadows lurking. Not that I have anything they can take away; I just feel sorry for the country as a whole; being deceived so cruelly by those trusted to show some concern for the rest of the country.

  83. Don’t miss this to light up your life even if for just a moment.. Atty Ber’s Lawsuit against Obama going forward..Berg has received the Court’s permission to start the discovery process..

    Yahoo! Two Cheers for the Good Guys!

    I have the origins here of this wonderful” Law of Natural Born” Citizenship (only) asserting a candidates eligibility for the presidency.



  84. I hear that our gov’t is indescribably corrupt. Both D and R are participants. If McCain really does plan to try to clean up Washington we don’t have to worry about electing downtickets Dems. Both D and R will fight McCain tooth and nail.

  85. They’re saying they know that the system is bad and they want to reform it.
    It sounds to me like Obama is a joiner.

    RD, it’s pretty amazing. Obama’s transcendent bi-partisan shtick as always seemed to me like a way to cover-up for the crooks, and now McCain is running on a throw-the-crooks-out campaign. It makes it look like Obama is the candidate of the corporate e$tablishment, while McCain, whose campaign had to struggle back from near-bankruptcy, is the outsider.

  86. I actually posted about that 527 story a few days ago. Here’s the link if you are interested.


  87. I know nothing about economics, or the Stock Market. My 1st decent bonus way back in the 80’s I invested on the advice of the broker, it took about 4 months for my investment to be worthless; next year decided to try again. Bought stock on the advice of the same broker on a Friday, Monday’s news I learned the Company’s CEO embezzled all the money over the weekend and had disappeared. Needless to say, I never bothered again.

    But it seems that a 3% loss on the market based on all the horrible news doesn’t seem that bad. I don’t know what the cutoff is before they shut the market down. Like I said, I don’t know much about this, but if you’re a long term investor, how much of an impact is it really (unless, of course, we go into a depression – which I will say I’m worried about).

  88. Dave, on September 15th, 2008 at 2:05 pm Said:
    ” When people with bad credit are getting 0% down loans at teaser interest rates to buy a $750,000 house in Modesto, you would think it would be an indicator that something is very wrong.”

    Exactly. Anyone who couldn’t see this meltdown coming was an idiot. What bothers me now are the “solutions”. Bank of America is buying Merrill Lynch?? In January they bought out Countrywide with all its bad debts. What happens if Bank of America can’t make this work and IT goes belly up? I don’t like this at all.

  89. Carolyn Mann, a gold star!

    Republican Woman, you should be in index funds instead of individual stocks to mitigate the risk of the “starry eyed stockbroker.”

    Felizarte, what about all those shareholders in Lehman, Merrill, Bear Stearns, Fannie and Freddie who took it in the shorts?

  90. Had the radio on while making lunch and Rush was all over the Iraq story and practically called Obama a traitor. So it is out there but so far only being covered by the Right Wing press.

  91. Clinton also had a balanced budget and a surplus!
    Who was the last Republican President to have a balanced budget? Eisenhower, maybe?
    Vote as you will, but don’t fall for the codswallop that Republicans are good with money. They stink.

  92. Did they have color photos during the depression? How’d they do that?

    OK, back to reading the comments.

  93. “Tellurian, on September 15th, 2008 at 2:27 pm Said:

    Don’t miss this to light up your life even if for just a moment.. Atty Ber’s Lawsuit against Obama going forward..Berg has received the Court’s permission to start the discovery process.. … Yahoo! Two Cheers for the Good Guys!”

    Cluck, cluck, cluck! Is that a chicken I see coming home to roost ?

    With a change in a critical parameter a system can suddenly undergo a phase transition. In BO’s case the relevant parameter is pressure – of which he’s had precious little until now – and it just might be that as the pressure, from various quarters mounts, a gorgeous phase transition takes place – his campaign melts down.

  94. Happy Birthday, Ms. Marple.

  95. OT, but Caylee’s mom is back in jail and OJ is on trial once again. Seems like only yesterday! He has been in court so often he could serve as his own attorney. As for Caylee’s mom, the less said the better. She is one whacked out cookie.

  96. recently, I’ve been thinking that perhaps the Democratic congress’ lack of action has been…a holding action to benefit Barry. Pelosi/Reid… people we know whose fingerprints are all over the weapon used to murder the Democratic primary.

    Could they really have done that to us? I fear the answer is yes.

  97. ” When people with bad credit are getting 0% down loans at teaser interest rates to buy a $750,000 house in Modesto, you would think it would be an indicator that something is very wrong.”

    This is an exaggeration of what happened. No one with bad credit got a loan to buy a $750000 house.

  98. Hey all – happy birthday, Ms. Marple!

    New Post Up!

  99. Pat Johnson: Thank you for sharing your story about late afternoon lunches, housework and chores piling up yada, yada. You are not alone, I am with you totally.

  100. We do know that some of those borrowers had very bad credit ratings but in an effort to close the deal they were never put through a credit check. We also know that some of the borrowers openly lied about their income levels and the same lack of oversight applied. So the culpability on all fronts can be tied together. The lack of oversight, along with built in loopholes and unscrupulous people converged.

  101. jangles: Pathetic isn’t it?

  102. Mawm, where do you live?

    Here in California that is exactly what was happening, unbelievable though it may seem. Some got these loans through fraudulent means–such as lying about their income on the loan applications. In many cases incomes were never verified at all. Now these very people are defaulting in record numbers.

  103. Dave, you’re right; I forgot about those double dippers. Most of the time, they are the same insiders who know what’s coming down soon.

    Most of you here are probably too young to remember. But when a top mafioso was finally taken down and later got to visit the stock exchange, he said (Lucky Luciano) something like, “I should have been in this racket instead.”

  104. It was on the news a week or so back that the mortgage holders are being give $500.00 NOT to trash the house they are abandoning. The newest business to erupt since the meltdown. Those who had no investment to begin with are breaking windows and stealing anything not nailed down. The money incentive is to prevent the vandalizing in hopes of keeping the repairs down in hopes of reselling.

  105. I’m in NC. We do have more stringent lending laws here.

  106. Bank of America used to be called Bank of Italy before the war. After Italy sided with Hitler, that’s when it changed its name to Bank of America. I bet that the same families still control it.

  107. Dave, had to check what I have – S&P 500 INDEX SPDR; LEHMAN AGG BOND FUND ISHARES; oddly the Lehman is +.40, and the index is -$4.00, or maybe it makes sense, this is just a very little side investment outside of my 401k, and I trust the person who manages that.

  108. Mawm,

    In Florida (not surprising) there were alot of “Pulse Loans.” (If you have a pulse, you got a loan.)

  109. I thought that Bank of America, which is hq here in NC, was first ncnb (nc nat’l bank), then it became NationsBank, and when they acquired BofA, they kept the name…I didn’t think it was even the same co. but I don’t know much about mergers and such lol 🙂

  110. PJ: The odd’s on OJ getting convicted is 3:1; however, there’s already appeals issues – not a single AA on the jury; 9 women, 3 men white/hispanic jurors.

  111. OJ will get away with it once again. It never ceases to fail.

  112. Never mind about that 3%, What a difference 20 minutes makes.

  113. Mawm, on September 15th, 2008 at 3:12 pm Said:
    ” This is an exaggeration of what happened. No one with bad credit got a loan to buy a $750000 house.”

    I don’t think it’s beyond the pale, Mawm. A receptionist I worked with bought a fancy house near a golf course. Her hubby was an electrician, so they had a decent income. I think they bought their home on one of those “no money down” loans.

    Both of them spent money like drunken CEOs. Not just the house, two fancy cars, harley-davidson motorcycles, clothes, dinners out, cell phones and private schools for the kids. Seems neither her nor her hubby bothered to read the terms of their mortgage contract. They didn’t realize that their house payments DIDN’T include a set-aside to pay their property taxes. The Friday before taxes were due they were scrambling around trying to find a relative to borrow from so they could pay their property taxes. Eventually they found a bank that would refinance their original home loan. They couldn’t keep up with that, then just before she got fired, found another bank to refinance THAT loan.

    I don’t know what happened with them, if they managed to hold onto the house or not. Point is, they were EXACTLY the type of people who should have been turned away from a home loan in the first place.

  114. Gary, you are correct. Slight change in the final/current name, though: NCNB/NationsBank bought BancAmerica and became Bank of America.

  115. David said:

    I do agree that the bonuses paid to these Wall St. CEOs and investment bankers have historically been out of all proportion to their merits. However, that is generally the province of that company’s board of directors. Unfortunately, in some cases the directors of public companies have failed in their fiduciary duties–for which they should pay a price.

    But David, bonuses are paid for a job well-done. Obviously, the CEOs and CFOs knew the businesses were falling apart or on the precipice. Hence, the CEOs failed in their fiduciary responsibility to stock holders. All of those traders were buying into the same b.s. also. The day of reckoning had to come sometime.

  116. That was a great shot. I love Dorothea Lange’s work — also Walker Evans during that time. He and James Agee wrote a book about the Dustbowl years called “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men” —

    RD, something gives me the feeling that bad guys like the Enron guys are behind all this — I mean why do things slip on such a mass scale. I’m on my way home today. Called “home” for the rescue. It’s on its way, and I won’t make a mistake like this one again, evah!

    Feminism 101 — We NEED IT now more than ever.
    And, geez. Do you ever feel like all we ever KNEW in our LIFETIMES has been totally?

    Swept under some kind of RUG by imbeciles in the Democratic Party. Geez.


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