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    • Down to you
      Joni with an introspective late-night tune from Court and Spark:
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    • The Fall of the USSR
      The best book on both successes and failures of the Soviet Union is Mancur Olson’s “Power and Prosperity.”  If you haven’t read it, you should.  The second best is Randall Collins essay in Macrosociology. The great problem with most critiques of the  USSR is that they do not explain its successes.  In the 20s and […]
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ACORN, Fannie, Freddie, and Frank

On September 25, 2008, in a FOX News interview with Greta Van Susteren, I heard Lindsay Graham say something about his opposition to 20% of the proposed $700 billion financial bailout going to ACORN. I couldn’t believe my ears and tracked down one story at Hot Air, where Ed Morrissey has the video. Apparently, some of Michelle Malkin’s readers were on to it — Yikes! I’m citing conservatives. Hers was only the first story, now updated, as many others who heard also it did a double take.

Please see this June 18, 2008 press release along with a series of documents about ACORN issued by watchdog group, The Consumer Rights League. ACORN has also been linked to voter registration fraud in multiple states.

These documents – which include staff emails and internal organization policies – suggest that ACORN has failed to maintain a proper distinction between its tax-exempt housing work and its aggressive political activities.

Republicans are bucking Bush and demanding accountability with no earmarks, and Shelby is quoting 200 economists who say nay to the Dem proposal. I feel like I’m going cuckoo as I see Repubs stand up for “the people.” Their constituents are flipping out and telling them not to pass it. Reportedly 70% of the country is giving the Bush/Dem proposed bailout package a thumbs down.

Actually, I feel like I’m having the closest thing I’ve ever experienced to questioning my sexual orientation or gender identity. I never have, but I know that it’s a crisis of choices not to be taken lightly. From what I understand, although coming out is mostly liberating, decisions made in the process can be extremely gut- and life-wrenching. Everything about your placement in the world turns up-side-down, and makes you doubt many assumptions that society and you have known or thought to be true. It can be confusing, which is the situation I find myself in politically.

Once you come out, you can’t go back. I’m told that you can never see things like you did before, or perhaps even remember what it was like. You’re often cut off or divorced from the things, the life, the family, that made you feel secure and comfortable. It’s like cutting a tether. I can relate to that in regards to the Party I had self-identified with my entire life. Even before I could vote, my heart swelled for the soaring hopes for the world as envisioned by Adlai Stevenson and JFK. And now?

I’m having party identity confusion. My crisis is that I’m doubting what the Democrats are actually standing for — not in theory or ideals, but in-action. Where is My Party??? Everything I’ve thought about my Democratic heroes has been turned on its head this year — except for the Clintons, who just keep getting better and better.

I know I’m also way, way over my head on the topic of economics. I’m just attempting to round up what I’m reading, this, an updated Bloomberg report (9/25/08) about IndyMac.

.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.

In the above clip, we can see that Republicans have been warning about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for years, while Barney Frank has been poo-pooing this as scare tactics for years. Is it any surprise he was one of their main apologists this last week? Frank was reported to be one of those yelling during Bushie’s all-parties-to-the-table meetin’ on Thursday. But, all these connections have been going on for years. Larry Johnson has more video of this history in his post, Barack’s Fannie Mae Buddies.

Please read economist dakinikat’s excellent analysis, Back to the Roots of the Problem, here at The Confluence. She concurs that, although we’ve always been on the Democratic side of social programs, this collapse, due to unsound home buying and mortgage policies, falls squarely in their lap.

.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.

And here was Senator Barney Frank in a July 2008 Bloomberg TV interview as he assured us all that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are jes fine, after the failure of Indy Mac:

We got into trouble, because there was not adequate regulation of the mortgage business in particular, and a lot of mortgages that were made that shouldn’t have been made, not originated by banks but it washed over into the banking system.

The one thing that people should be confident about, is that the set of things I talked about, the FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the Federal Reserve’s rules, we are not going to have any more of this. We’ve have learned now not to do this. . .

The reassurance we can give people is: As we cope with the current problem, don’t think that this is part of an endless series of events. We have learned from this terrible set of mistakes, and we know how to prevent them from recurring. . . . I think that is a confidence inspiring thing for the future.

Senator McCain and the Republicans are still rallying to prevent another blank check without accountability being foisted on US citizens. And Frank is still telling us to write the check. Me to Democratic Party leadership: Trust you? I don’t even know you anymore.

[cross-posted from Lady Boomer NYC]

On the Lighter Side…Obama and EV: A Play in One Unrequited Act.

Author’s Note: This play was inspired by the fact that Obama is determined to pursue the unattainable evangelical vote, while alienating so many other ready, willing and able Democratic base groups.

The Irresistible Evangelical Voter
The Irresistible Evangelical Voter

THE SCENE: Outside of a movie theater in Anytown, USA. The marquee reads: “Now Playing: The 2008 Presidential Election.” An attractive, well-dressed woman, EV (meaning “Evangelical Voter” and pronounced “Eve”), is standing outside, waiting for her date, JOHN MCCAIN.

As she looks at her watch, BARACK OBAMA walks by EV, then stops. A “coup de foudre” has occurred. He struts up to her confidently.

OBAMA: Excuse me, miss? (EV turns to OBAMA.)  Hi, I’m Barack Obama. I’m a Democratic Senator from Illinois, and you are just about the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.

EV (perplexed): Um, hi? Gosh, I’m not used to talking to Democrats. (noticing the way OBAMA is looking at her) In case you’re wondering, I’m not alone. I have a date with John McCain, but he’s a little late.

OBAMA (not listening): Wow. You are just stunning, sweetie. What’s your name?

EV (a little uncomfortably): My full name is Evangelical Voter, but everyone calls me EV for short.

OBAMA: EV, huh? Listen, I’m not gonna play games here. I really, really want you to go to the Presidential Election with me. What can I do to make that happen? You want a kiss?

EV: A kiss? Ewwww. I don’t even know you!

OBAMA (confidently): Well, then, why don’t we get to know each other? My full name is Barack Hussein Obama, and –

EV (interrupting): Oh yeah, I heard about you. (suspiciously) Aren’t you a Muslim? If you haven’t accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior –

OBAMA: Relax, baby. I’m as Christian as you are. Check out this flyer – I’ve used it in the South to get my message to people like you. Amen!

Continue reading

For Democratic Reform- FDR

Some of you may be asking what you can do now that the party has abandoned its principles and the public.  It isn’t enough to withhold your vote for Obama.  What can YOU do to make the party better?

Well, we are working on that.  A number of Clinton bloggers and organizers have begun to coalesce and form an initiative to reform the party and take it back.  We are calling our initiative For Democratic Reform or FDR.  (It’s intentional)

We are in the process of forming an inrastructure, formalizing our political philosophy and goals and developing content for our new site.  That’s the hard part and we are committed to it.  The easy part is the website through which we will start to communicate with the public and others who would like to help us to achieve our goals.

Have a sneak peek at our Website: For Democratic Reform- FDR.

This is the start of something *good*!

Saturday: Tumbleweeds

Last night was a depressing sight for many of us.  Here we are on the verge of one of the biggest financial crisis of our lives and look at the choices the DNC and media has arrayed before us.  A conservative Republican and a man who doesn’t even like to admit he is a Democrat.  In fact, none of the Democrats in leadership positions right now seem to like the label much.  They seem to prefer weak tea and crumpets to the down and dirty, rough and tumble fistfights that the times urgently require.

Instead of remembering their party’s principles, they abandon them to reach out to Republicans.  They refuse to raise their voices or coalesce around a single leader.  Their power is diffuse.  They are compelled to acquiesce to conservative influences in their own party. They agree up front to the amount of money they are willing to throw at the financial bailout, they merely dither about the details, paying little mind to the impact on the American Dream.

We sit on the sidelines in frustration and anger, watching our wealth as a nation frittered away by clever, predatory Republicans and greedy gilded capitalists.  The Democrats look on helplessly, unable to muster the passion for a fight, unwilling to upset their new underwriters, while the leader the rest of us wanted to follow, is forced to wait outside the door, cooling her heels for four years.   She works tirelessly for the man who showed her nothing but contempt. She champions the forgotten average American who is about to be plunged into a severe recession and a government on a starvation diet for the forseeable future.  But it wasn’t Hillary on the stage last night.  It is these two, one an immature Product concocted to flatter the egos of those who imagine themselves great thinkers but who are incapable of doing much of anything.

In its mindless, childish frenzy to rid itself of the Clintons, the party expended its last bit of energy and lost half of its vitality.  It now has no power left for self-locomotion.  It is as rootless and directionless as blowing tumbleweeds, subject to the influence of the wind and unable to gain purchase.

Barack Obama flaps arms, clucks like a chicken, wins debate

“Bloviating media gasbags and Kool-aid slurping bloggers all agree that junior Senator from Illinois looked more Presidential than whiny old John “Crypt Keeper” McCain.”

If you think I am snarking, you aren’t paying attention.

Well, okay, I am snarking about the “waves arms, clucks like a chicken” part.  But just barely.

Consider this an open thread.  You will anyway.