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Conflucians Say Cocktail Party

Well, it looks like the girl with the big ideas was left out of the room again while the boys made plans.  The question is, will they take the time to do it right so they don’t have to take the time to do it over?  Yep, she was the one.  She had the policies all worked out in advance.  She saw the problem from multiple angles.  She seems to have the courage to buck the conventional wisdom.

But we ended up with HIM.


No use crying over spilt milk.  There’s still plenty to do.  Like, annoying your congresscritter with persistent calls on the issue.  Don’t let them try to keep a low profile.  Tell them they are on the hook for what happens later.  And that goes doubly so for Senators and Reps who are superdelegates.  They are responsible for giving away the store and saddling the taxpayer with massive debt.  As Marcy Kaptur said recently, we can’t expect the financial geniuses to socialize the profit but we are always expected to socialize the risk.  We’re tired of that.

But we also have to add more progressives to Congress.  And what better way to help them along than by contributing time and money to their campaigns.  The Obama Product is sucking up most of the available funds, leaving many downticket Dems high and dry while their races are tightening.  Let’s put them back on track.

Welcome to the Conflucian Cocktail Party.  Every Thursday from now until election day, we are dedicating our cocktail party to raising money for downticket Dems.  Make yourself at home.  The bar is to the left of the door manned by Rico, our bartender with flair.  His special drink tonight is an Autumn in New York.  You can also purchase a causmo for $10.  You have several causmos to choose from.  You can contribute to our Fab Four Slate of women running for congress and senate.  Or put your money to work on our broader slate in our ActBlue for The Confluence.   Last week, we made $700! I got an email from Dennis Shulman this week.  He could use some money to keep his TV ad running in NJ-03 so give him a hand, woncha?  Or, should you feel so inclined, you can help our friend Heidi Li purchase ads for Democrat for Principle before Party.  Of course, you can order whatever you like.

Our entertainment this evening is from a sax player who I’ve never heard of but feel like I should.  This recording of, what else, Autumn in New York, was recorded in 1951.  Sit back and cradle your cocktail and listen:

Ladies and gents, let’s not harsh our mellows with trigger words.  If you feel one starting to get the better of you, take it to Florence, our lovely checkroom attendant who will keep the sucker safe.  The waiters will be circulating soon with some apples and grapes and sharp New York cheddar cheese and a lovely Hudson Valley fois gras.  Please drink responsibly and tip your wait staff generously.

Also, you can bring your cocktails to Conflucians Say tonight at 10PM EST.  We’ll be talking to Heidi Li Feldman of the Denver Group and Democrats for Principle before party and our own dcinkat will be answering all of our burning questions on the financial bailout.

Conflucian “Caption This Photo”

Hillary OpEd piece in WSJ while Obama’s in “Uh Uh Rehab”

Hillary Rodham Clinton, again displays her brilliant Solutions for America that actually will help everyday Americans .  Please click on link to read, here are a few excerpts.

I’ve proposed a new Home Owners’ Loan Corporation (HOLC), to launch a national effort to help homeowners refinance their mortgages. The original HOLC, launched in 1933, bought mortgages from failed banks and modified the terms so families could make affordable payments while keeping their homes. The original HOLC returned a profit to the Treasury and saved one million homes. We can save roughly three times that many today. We should also put in place a temporary moratorium on foreclosures and freeze rate hikes in adjustable-rate mortgages. We’ve got to stem the tide of failing mortgages and give the markets time to recover.

The time for ideological, partisan arguments against these actions is over. For years, the calls to provide borrowers an affordable opportunity to avoid foreclosure as a means of preventing wider turmoil were dismissed as government intrusion into the private marketplace. My proposals over the past two years were derided as too much, too soon. Now we are forced to reckon with too little, too late.

…Corporations that will benefit must be held accountable, not only to large shareholders but also to the American people, who are rightly tired of business as usual: short-term profit at the expense of long-term viability; lax oversight and regulation; obscene bonuses and golden parachutes regardless of performance; reckless risk-taking that has placed the markets in jeopardy; rewards for foreclosing on middle-class families and selling mortgages designed to fail; and outsourcing good jobs to serve short-term stock prices instead of America’s long-term economic health.

This is a sink-or-swim moment for America. We cannot simply catch our breath. We’ve got to swim for the shores. We must address the conditions that set the stage for the turmoil unfolding on Wall Street, or we will find ourselves lurching from crisis to crisis. Just as Wall Street must once again look further than the quarterly report, our nation must as well.

Meanwhile the Democratic Candidate, Emperor Barack O’Nero,  fiddles with debate dress rehersal in Tampa, or as I call it, “Uh Uh Rehab”: 

Obama is staying at the historic Belleview Biltmore until Thursday to get ready for his first debate with John McCain, to be televised from Mississippi on Friday. 

Choosing the Tampa Bay area for his debate prep and making sure to work in a few photo opportunities while he’s here is a way for Obama to keep his name in headlines in a battleground state while he is staying secluded to work toward the debate.  

Seclusion?  From what?  Reality, maybe?   Why would you need so much practice at something you’re already supposed to know?  Like DancesWithPumas said in MYIQs post below, “this crisis is above his pay grade.” 

But that’s what tutors are for!

Washington lawyer Greg Craig will play the role of McCain in Obama’s debate rehearsals. Craig, a foreign policy expert and member of President Clinton’s impeachment defense team, also played President Bush in John Kerry’s preparations in 2004.

Ooh, an expert pretend Republican with a recurring role! 

One goal of the prep work will be to make sure Obama gets to the point quicker than during the primary debates, an aide said. The often loquacious Illinois senator has been delivering snappier sound bites recently on the campaign trail at the encouragement of his campaign advisers. 

So it is “Uh Uh Rehab!”

So let me get this straight: Senator #1 has the solution to the financial meltdown which in turn will help everyday Americans affected by the crisis and the economic model that Senator #1 presents helped the US get out of the Great Depression in the 1930s.  

Senator #2 plays dress-up for 3 days for a debate that may not happen which took his opponent, Senator #3,  a couple of hours to prepare and said opponent suspended his campaign to return to Congress and help solve the meltdown.  This is Obama’s “My Pet Goat” and “Katrina” moment.  And the AMerican people are supposed to feel confident in Obama’s “leadership” and support the DNC’s choice for a candidate?  RD once again is right, it’s a fiasco. 

Can we PLEASE have Hillary back? 

¡Que viva los PUMAs!

Thursday: Fiasco

“There was an air of everyone sort of reaching beyond their own grasp”

Several years ago, This American Life presented one of the funniest pieces in it’s repetoire.  It was the story of a amateur theatre director in a small college town and her great ambitions for a spectacular production of Peter Pan.  All did not go as well but the show *did* go on, leading to the hillarious episode, Fiasco.

“Great chaos and heart-wrenching failure are more likely to occur when great ambition comes into play, when plans are big, expectations are great, hopes at their highest.”

I was thinking of this piece last night as Darragh, Sheri and I were talking on the Lions Share while at the same time, bulletin after bulletin of breaking news showed just how the expertly the Republicans were yanking Obama’s chain.  When Darragh read that Bush himself was calling Obama back to Washington, we all broke into laughter of disbelief at the absurdity of the situation.

“One of the criteria for greatness is that everyone is just about to reach just beyond theor grasp because that is when greatness can occur…. And maybe greatness could have occured.”

My friends, we are witnessing a fiasco.  The Obama campaign is completely out of its depth no less than that overly ambitious theatre director.  It is running the wrong campaign, Obama is horribly miscast and the whole campaign apparatus is coming apart at the seams.  Meanwhile, the GOP keeps boxing the hapless Obama into corners, first with Sarah Palin and now with the financial bailout.  He seems surprised, unprepared and unable tp cope or get himself out of the trap.  And the blows are coming in quick succession.  First, McCain suspends his campaign, Bush gives a speech, McCain urges Obama to reschedule the debates and offers one option after another, finally, Bush tells him to come home like some rebellious teenager on a school night.

“At some point the audience turned and said, “Oh, I realize what’s going on here.  This is a fiasco.””

“Yeah, this is a fiasco.  What’s really interesting about a fiasco is that once it starts to tumble down, the audience wants to push it along… Now, the reason they’re there is to chronicle these embarrassments.”

It doesn’t look good for the transcendent future leader of the free world.  The GOP has mastered the art of war, knows its enemies, uses the element of surprise and keeps the opponent off guard with a volley of actions, all of which lead Obama to look overwhelmed.  Timing will kill you.  If you don’t have time to recover and find your bearings, you quickly lose any advantage.  But Obama should have seen it coming.  The GOP are predators.  They have a single minded determination to seize power and never let it go.  Obama should have been prepared.  He should have done his homework on the economy.  He should have anticipated an attack as soon as early voting commenced and any hope of sending in a relief pitcher was nearly extinguished.

But he’s too busy shaking hands and praying with the faith voters, figuring out how to pander to the ones that haven’t flocked to Palin.  He’s so caught up in his own transcendence, his day dreams of his own magnificence, that he is failing in his ability to direct the production.  What happened yesterday was fascinating, both amusing and humiliating.   He never saw it coming.

“The fiasco itself is an altered state.  All of the normal rules are off…. The reason you go to the theatre, to see a great production, is to be, I think the word used to be, transported.  The idea being that you would be lifted away from your animal nature to a higher more spiritual realm… Of course, what happens here is the exact opposite.”

The laughter is completely inappropriate.  This production is a drama and the scenario is serious.  But what we are ending up with is a farce.  And with our economic livelihood’s on the line, that’s no laughing matter.

Leaders Lead

There is some serious deception being practiced on us by Obamanation, the Obama bloggers and the Kool-aid slurping media.

To hear them tell it, the current financial problem is all the Republican’s fault and John McCain is using the crisis as an excuse to avoid debating Obama.   To quote one of Jeralyn’s fans:

“He’d rather flip off the American people than face the music Friday night.” 

Another one claimed that “McCain’s deregulation fantasies got us into this mess.”  Oh really?  Senator John McCain, May 25, 2006:

Mr. President, this week Fannie Mae’s regulator reported that the company’s quarterly reports of profit growth over the past few years were “illusions deliberately and systematically created” by the company’s senior management, which resulted in a $10.6 billion accounting scandal.

The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight’s report goes on to say that Fannie Mae employees deliberately and intentionally manipulated financial reports to hit earnings targets in order to trigger bonuses for senior executives. In the case of Franklin Raines, Fannie Mae’s former chief executive officer, OFHEO’s report shows that over half of Mr. Raines’ compensation for the 6 years through 2003 was directly tied to meeting earnings targets. The report of financial misconduct at Fannie Mae echoes the deeply troubling $5 billion profit restatement at Freddie Mac.

The OFHEO report also states that Fannie Mae used its political power to lobby Congress in an effort to interfere with the regulator’s examination of the company’s accounting problems. This report comes some weeks after Freddie Mac paid a record $3.8 million fine in a settlement with the Federal Election Commission and restated lobbying disclosure reports from 2004 to 2005. These are entities that have demonstrated over and over again that they are deeply in need of reform.

For years I have been concerned about the regulatory structure that governs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac–known as Government-sponsored entities or GSEs–and the sheer magnitude of these companies and the role they play in the housing market. OFHEO’s report this week does nothing to ease these concerns. In fact, the report does quite the contrary. OFHEO’s report solidifies my view that the GSEs need to be reformed without delay.

I join as a cosponsor of the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, S. 190, to underscore my support for quick passage of GSE regulatory reform legislation. If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole.

I urge my colleagues to support swift action on this GSE reform legislation.


Where has Teh Precious been during this crisis?  Doing what he does best – running for office.  As he put it:

“If they need me they’ll call me.”

Don’t wait for the phone to ring, Barack.  We don’t need you.  We don’t need you now, and we don’t need you next January.

Leaders lead.


From the comments, DancesWithPumas gives the most cogent explanation I have seen in defense of Teh Precious:

“The crisis is above his pay grade.”


A commenter correctly pointed out that Obama never voted on the bill because it died in committee.  I have deleted the erroneous information.