Friday, September 26, 2008

I'm 90 percent sure this is why this debate kerfuffle is happening

If there's no debate tonight, then probably the first presidential debate will replace the Vice Presidential debate, which will spare America more of what you're about to see.

If even for a second you find yourself thinking "Well, she's not doing THAT badly," please recall that:

1. Why should we spend 700 billion to bail out rich guys who made stupid choices and profited from them when that money could do a lot of good other places?


2. How again does being Governor of Alaska give you foreign policy experience?

are COMPLETELY OBVIOUS QUESTIONS that the campaign has to have prepared her for extensively because there was just no way they weren't being asked.

Watch CBS Videos Online

She's a lot better here, at least partially due to editing, but not, you know, good, and the last 45 seconds or so is kinda hilarious:

who recalls that Bush senior ran with a guy whom everyone thought was a moron and won, so it's not over yet.


goodwolve said...

Oh, I hope you are wrong. I am so so sad that you could be right though.

Bill Baar said...

I'd like to see Palin v Obama myself. I hope McCain sends her instead.

Chalicechick said...

I believe I speak for the entire readership of this blog when I say that I would sincerely love to see that.


Bill Baar said...

Zoby nails it today. I think McCain senses it and it's driving the move to suspend campaigning and demonstrate action...

"It is the center that is driving this election," he said. "It is the center that will decide this election."

These voters are looking for a problem-solver, someone who can manage the government competently, he said.

If I were McCain, I'd let Palin chat with Obama tonight and McCain stay in DC persauding the GOP to line up behind Paulson, Bush, Pelosi, and Reid on a bail our for Wall Street.

Palin can explain why McCain is no way Bush's third time while McCain's at it.

Bill Baar said...

...I've seen Obama in action more than anyone on this blog... belive me Paline v Obama would be a hoot... Obama's got a totally odd manor when it comes to women... the "sweetie" talk and all that... it would be bizarre.

Chalicechick said...

Palin can't even explain herself in these videos and she's being interviewed by Katie Couric, who is asking fairly obvious and fairly softball questions.

If there is equivilent footage of Obama, I sure haven't seen it.


Chalicechick said...

(((DC persauding the GOP to line up behind Paulson, Bush, Pelosi, and Reid on a bail our for Wall Street.))

So far, McCain has done a lot of grandstanding about bringing people in from both sides and getting to work together.

While he was making his speeches and getting his picture taken, the bipartisan committee that had been working on this for days kept on working and acutually trying to solve the problem.

McCain sat in on the negotiations for a bit, saying NOTHING, then when they were getting close to a deal, McCain's people convinced Boehner to come out with a new proposal: One that McCain himself won't even say he supports and has messed up negotiations on the bill.

While McCain was getting his photo ops, Washington Mutual failed.

Not impressed.

IMHO, McCain is coming off as a grandstanding fool.


Bill Baar said...

WaPo failed and bought out by JPMorgan Chase where Obama buddy and patron Bill Daley (son of the Mayor and brother of the current Mayor) works. Expect to see way more of Bill D and JPMorgan given an Obama victory.

You won't be convinced CC, but wait and see how Zoby's "center" reacts to what McCain pulls out of the hat.

Get Obama unscripted and under pressure he goes incoherent.

Remember he's never faced a Republican in a debate before his entire Polical Career save Allen Keyes.

My bet is Palin would eviscerate him. Chicago Pols just don't debate much or put themselves in situations they don't control.

These guys (and they are almost all guys) are cautious, paranoid, and control freaks. Obama cut right from the mold.

PG said...

McCain is looking fairly lame on the "I'm desperately needed in Washington to lead the bailout plan but I won't say what needs to be done on the bailout plan."

Being a bit of a conservative on economics, I do look to the GOP to restrain the Dems from engaging in wildly unrealistic populist giveaways, like allowing bankruptcy judges to refuse to permit foreclosures on any property regardless of how impossible it would be for the residents to pay even a normal, non-teaser interest rate.

There are significant differences between the populism McCain is spewing and the ideas of Congressional Democrats like Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and Obama.

1) Last year, Obama put up the Senate companion to a bill that Frank passed through the House, which would give shareholders an advisory vote on executive compensation ("say on pay"). A board that disagreed with the shareholders still could pay the compensation, but shareholders would have stated their preference and could replace the recalcitrant board members with folks more attentive to shareholders' concerns.

2) McCain never stated any support for the Obama-Frank legislation. Instead, once he locked up the Republican nomination early this year, he began tentatively putting forward the idea that shareholders should decide the compensation for executives. When asked if that meant he was supporting Obama's bill, he'd always refuse to say. In the last week, the McCain campaign suddenly declared that he wants binding "say on pay" -- not just pay, but say on business decisions: "There is no reason why every CEO in this country shouldn't have every piece of cash and non-cash compensation clearly presented to their shareholders for a vote so that they can make the effective judgment, which is, is this money going to the CEO or should it be put in research and development, should it be put into some other use." Everyone who took Corporations or otherwise knows about the fundamental corporate law division of ownership and decision-making, put your jaw back up. Binding shareholder votes on how the corporation should spend its money would nix the board's normal corporate law responsibility to make those decisions.

3) In his latest lurch toward populism, McCain said, "The senior executives of any firm that is bailed out by Treasury should not be making more than the highest paid government official," which would be fine if he were talking about taking money away from the executives who *had*, past tense, run the companies into the ground and into the arms of the Treasury. He's not; this isn't just about cutting the strings of golden parachutes or clawing back Franklin Raines's salary and bonuses. This would put a specific dollar limit on what troubled corporations, which desperately need to attract new executive talent to pull them out of a hole, can pay that talent. He wants to limit *future* compensation. How is that supposed to limit the bailout only to institutions "really in trouble"? Who does he think is going to sign up for the shitty, hyper-criticized and scrutinized job of fixing these companies for a government salary?

4) In contrast, the Dodd plans says: "SEC. 17. EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION. The Secretary shall require that all entities seeking to sell assets through a program established under this Act meet appropriate standards for executive compensation and shareholder disclosure in order to be eligible, which standards shall include--
(1) limits on compensation to exclude incentives for executives to take risks that the Secretary deems to be inappropriate or excessive;
(2) a claw-back provision for incentive compensation paid to a senior executive based on earnings, gains, or other criteria that are later proven to be inaccurate; and
(3) such limitations on the entity paying severance compensation to its senior executives as are determined to be appropriate in the public interest in light of the assistance being given to the entity."

I'd always had some sympathy toward conservatives on economic issues. Capitalism is generally good and labor unions are sometimes bad. (See, e.g., the NYT expose on the LIRR employees' disability and "non-contracted work" scams.) McCain shows that faced with a situation where his party's principles might not be popular, he will race toward the opposite extreme and end up even further "left" than his peers in the Democratic Party.

PG said...


I hope you and McCain keep going with these "William Daley, former Commerce Secretary under Clinton, sitting on the Council of Foreign Relations, is a skeezy Chicago criminal of some undefined sort."

Seriously, if you actually stopped and thought about what JP Morgan Chase is doing by buying up Bear Stearns and WaMu, it is allowing the government to avoid being immediately on the hook for propping up those institutions. Thanks to Chase, on Monday morning WaMu customers can go to the bank and it will all still be running. Would you prefer the government take over running the nation's largest S&L?

I wish that for once you would put forward an actual charge against someone you're attacking, like Daley, instead of just weaving a vague haze of accusation due to his family relationships. This is a really ugly way to discuss serious issues.

Obama has debated Clinton. And Palin is no Hillary Clinton. I look forward to Palin's latest iteration of "My Congressional appropriations requests for Alaska are legitimate and Sen. Obama's for IL were wrong, because I reduced the earmark request from her predecessor, and Obama has requested nearly $1 billion over three years." Let's use the McCain campaign numbers -- about $200m a year is a reasonable earmark request for Alaska, pop. 670K. But about $333m a year is too much for Illinois, pop. 13 million. Do the math, and according to Palin, each Alaskan deserves $300 a year, whereas an Illinois resident doesn't deserve $25 a year. I guess Alaskans really must be better than other Americans.

The center's gonna love that one.

Chalicechick said...

(((Get Obama unscripted and under pressure he goes incoherent. ))

He can't possibly get more incoherant than Palin does on that question about the economy.


Jaume de Marcos Andreu said...

I am not worried about Sarah, after all she has got divine protection from Satan and witchcraft (, I guess that includes Bidden, Obama, Democrats, and liberals in general ;-).

Bill Baar said...

I'm no fan of Mayor Daley, our Gov Blagojevich, or Cook County Board Prez Todd Stroger.

I live in one of the most corrupt States in the Union.

The only guy protecting us is Pat Fitzgerald who may well indict the Gov before the election, and could end up indicting Daley... just google Sorich, Laski, Victor Reyes, the Hispanic Democratic Organization (with nary a Hispanic save the gang banger they used to strong arm and intimate).

It's a tough town run by tough and greedy people.... really doubt that?

Bill Baar said...

PS ...a Sun Times bio on Bill Daley in yesterday's Sun Time for those unfamiliar with him.

A Rostenkowski protage... R a guy I liked too...he went to Bishops Chili (my favorite spot) the day before he went to prison, and the day he came back..

Good taste in Chicago fast food, but he was still a crook.

PG said...

It's a tough town run by tough and greedy people.... really doubt that?

No, I don't. What I doubt, due to your continuing lack of actual claims and evidence to back them, is that William Daley has broken the law or even violated an applicable rule of ethics, whether in his work at Mayer, Brown (a large, respected firm) or at JP Morgan Chase. Would you like to substantiate the implications you enjoy putting out there, or are we going to have unending rounds of

PG: where's the evidence?

bill: Chicago is corrupt! The Daley family is corrupt! Anyone associated with corrupt people is corrupt!


Meanwhile, I'm still waiting for all the negative stuff you promised would come out about Obama from the Rezko trial, or from the release of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge papers, or from God knows what next.

Bill Baar said...

How about my SBC Bill after Bill Daley represented them in Illinois on deregulation?

He's not a crook. (Although he's awfully close to folks like the Duffs of whom I played football with myself).

Bill Daley's a dealer... he knows everyone's "price" as the ST Bio puts it.

That's the kind of change Obama's going to bring to DC.

They've made a mess of Illinois. They'll make a mess of the country if we let 'em.

Cook County under John Daley's (Bill's other brother) mentoring of Todd Stroger has a 10% plus sales tax. They grind the poor the hardest.

This is what Obama brings on his coattails...and these are the guys Obama turns to for advice.

Give me Palin any day over this crowd.

Bill Baar said...

Sorry I missed this..

bill: Chicago is corrupt! The Daley family is corrupt! Anyone associated with corrupt people is corrupt!

Well... that's pretty much how it works. I have chili, hot dogs and drinks (and they can be a drinking crowd... homely guys tailed by comely lobbyists... last Friday night at bar near Mich Ave after Illinois State Senate Fund raiser) with many of them.... but I limit my exposure to that.

Bill Baar said...

Meanwhile, I'm still waiting for all the negative stuff you promised would come out about Obama from the Rezko trial, or from the release of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge papers, or from God knows what next.

Read the Stanely Kurts and Steve Diamond stuff on CAC.

Rezko is talking to Fitz now and Chicago's CBS news is reporting Blagojevich's indictment is near.

For me the most chiling stuff about Rezko is the connection to Nadhmi Auchi, the transfers of funds about the time Obama bought his home. Check Richard Fernandez and his link to the DoD IG report on Auchi and Iraq...

...from the Rezko trial (and now I'm done CC...will carry this somehwere else PG)

When the judge pressed for details Mr. Joseph Duffy, of Stetler & Duffy, spoke for his client, “there was a request for purchase by the Iraqi government. Mr. Rezko and an engineering firm here in the state of Illinois put together a bid, along with other entities; and, then, they won the bid for the contract. The company has no assets. They were just going to — if the contract was given, as I understand the financing was going to be a letter of credit — letter of credit from the Iraqi government and other financing; and then, they were going to put together someone to build or supply the electricity. …

According to court documents, Mr. Rezko’s lawyer said his client had “longstanding indebtedness” to Mr. Auchi’s GMH. By June 2007 he owed it $27.9 million. Under a Loan Forgiveness Agreement described in court, Mr. Auchi lent Mr. Rezko $3.5 million in April 2005 and $11 million in September 2005, as well as the $3.5 million transferred in April 2007. … A posting last week on a GMH-owned website,, portrayed Mr. Auchi as a Middle Eastern “Donald Trump” with a global business construction empire. Mr. Auchi visited the United States in 2004. Pictures show him meeting Emil Jones, the president of the Illinois state senate, an ally of Mr. Obama, a former state senator.

PG said...

Daley's already been in DC under Clinton, and has been campaign chairman for Gore. Were you telling people there was something wrong with Gore's campaign for having Daley at its head?

Logrolling is fundamental to getting difficult measures passed through Congress. This is like the whole "Obama and Biden voted to keep the Bridge to Alaska" fuss -- when nearly every other senator did too, in order to get Coburn to stop gumming up the works on all earmarks regardless of their cost-benefit analysis. If you have been critical of every politician who negotiates to get policies passed by giving someone a policy SHE wants, I've read a good chunk of your blog and missed that you thought this was inherently unprincipled, crooked behavior.

The job of the president of a corporation is to maximize return to shareholders without endangering the corporation's long term prospects, breaking the law or breaching its contracts. Again, do you criticize every corporate executive who pushes to have a better regulatory environment for his company, or just the ones who are associated with Obama?

It's the executives' job to look out for their shareholders; it's the politicians' job to look out for their constituents. If you're pissed about the deregulation, I don't know why you're blaming a state senator who was one of the 24 votes against it, even on a day when Mayor Daley dropped by the senate chamber.

"SBC Finds Allies in State Legislatures," The Dallas Morning News, May 13, 2003:

More than money, however, SBC's 21,000 employees swayed the Illinois General Assembly, said State Sen. Barack Obama, D-Chicago.

"The most important factor in Democrats voting on this bill was the fact that organized labor got behind the bill," he said. "And I am a strong labor supporter, and that's what made the vote difficult for me."

Mr. Obama said he voted against the bill even though he's sympathetic to SBC's complaints about wholesale rates because he doesn't feel politicians are best positioned to decide the issue.

"We as legislators generally lack the expertise to make assessments about rate structures and have no way of evaluating whether this will result in less competition and therefore higher prices for our constituents," he said.

PG said...

I read Kurtz' WSJ article on what he discovered in the CAC archives, which seems to be that he disapproves of how CAC tried to improve Chicago schools. He even concludes, "As CAC chairman, Mr. Obama was lending moral and financial support to Mr. Ayers and his radical circle. That is a story even if Mr. Ayers had never planted a single bomb 40 years ago."

The Annenberg Foundation itself was the one funding Ayers's CAC. If they felt that Ayers had the wrong philosophy for what the Foundation wanted to achieve, they could have refused to give money to any group with his involvement. Yet somehow the Annenberg Foundation still is deemed respectable.

And oddly enough, nothing Kurtz has written about Ayers begins with a discussion of what's wrong with Ayers's education philosophy (one he developed at my law school alma mater's ed school). It always begins with the history of domestic terrorism. If it were just a disagreement about the best way to educate children -- Bill, are you a fan of Kurtz's standardized testing-focused philosophy? -- then Ayers's time in the Weathermen would be irrelevant.

Bill Baar said...

Bill, are you a fan of Kurtz's standardized testing-focused philosophy? -- then Ayers's time in the Weathermen would be irrelevant.

Say what?

I was a guy who ditched School to go the SDS convention when Weatherman split! i.e. I don't have a clue what standardized testing-fosues philosophy is... I'm ignorant on that stuff, but I still don't need a weatherman to tell me which way the wind is blowing today. (Radicals don't change... we just get more radical like McCain.)

Ayers was a heck of a lot more than a caual aquaintance of Obama's... that's what we learn from Kurtz (plus Obama and Ayers thre away millions)

A real is Sneed today in the ST with more of the rumors about Rezko singing to the Feds. The leaks are all over Chicago (and not from Fitz)...

Tipsville: Sneed hears rumbles that convicted influence peddler Tony Rezko, whose dealings have been linked to Barack Obama and Gov. Blagojevich, is singing to the feds.

To wit: "I'm told by a close friend of Rezko that he's cooperating with the feds," said a Sneed source. "I don't know whether he's talking about Gov. Blagojevich or Barack Obama or anyone else," the source said.

The shocker: Rezko, a Wilmette businessman who was a top adviser and fund-raiser for Blago, has been locked up at the Metropolitan Correctional Center awaiting an Oct. 28 sentencing -- one week before the presidential election.

Background: Convicted in June of wide-ranging fraud tied to kickbacks on state deals, Rezko's involvement in real estate deals with Gov. Blago's wife, Patti, are also under federal scrutiny.

The backshot: Rezko's name has continually surfaced as a friend of Obama, who benefitted from a real estate deal involving Rezko -- which involved Obama's Kenwood home. Thus far, no serious paint has been splashed on Obama by the Rezko brush. But rumors abound that the feds have their eyes fixed on Blago and his wife, who firmly maintain their innocence.

The buckshot: Being locked up at the MCC has been known to be a sure way to break a felon's silence. Tweet. Tweet.

PG said...

Kurtz tells us absolutely nothing new. Yes, CAC doesn't seem to have done a lot to improve city schools. I already knew that from the Department of Education's report (although the "Breakthrough Schools" did show improvement, something Kurtz doesn't mention because it would undermine the idea that the money was just "thrown away"). Yes, Ayers was part of the group that started the CAC -- this too was in the DOE report (Ayers's name is in the very first footnote).

Kurtz charges Obama with having acted badly in supporting an initiative that put Ayers's ideas on education into practice, because Kurtz disagrees with Ayers on educational philosophy. This is perfectly fine, and I would be delighted to watch Kurtz, whose degree is in social anthropology and who has no apparent background in primary and secondary school education, debate Ayers on the topic of the virtues of standardized testing. Given your declared ignorance about education policy, you may not have known this, but Ayers is a respected professional in the area of education. One can disagree with his ideas, but the disagreement should be based on ideas and not smears and slurs.

Moreover, on rightwing sites Ayers has been promoting the evidence-less idea that Ayers "found" Obama when they were both on the Columbia campus in the early 1980s. I never thought of Columbia as such a scary place -- it always struck me as an urban version of UVa, as opposed to a true city campus like NYU's -- but in the fantasies of Obama-haters, it's become the Shadow Realm.

PG said...

Oops, that should be "on right wing sites Kurtz is promoting..."

Bill Baar said...


Re: Columbia

How old are you? Have you forgotten Mark Rudd? SDS? 1968?

The Columbia takeover is where it started...much more so than Berkeley... where everyone was too stoned by 68.

Columbia 68 was real revolution and the effects have lasted a long time... you can bet Bill Ayers hasn't forgotten...

Bill Baar said...

Columbia's Lee Bollinger had the old gang back for a reunion last month including Tom Hayden from Progressives for Obama.

Brian Flannigan was there too. Flannigan the guy from Weatherman who tackled head-on then Cook County Sheriff Richard Elrod. It left Elrod permanently crippled.

I remember Flannigan getting off the charges later....unlike the Chicago 8, Flannigan kept his mouth shut in court until he got out of it.

Anyways, the song SDS sang than was this to the tune of lay lady lay...

Lay Elrod lay, lay in your Iron Lung.

Lay Elrod lay, lay in your bed a while.

Cruel folks the Weather People... (and sadly I was a guy singing the tune then) I look at Ayers and shutter what he will bring with an Obama victory.

Bill Baar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bill Baar said...

PS Elrod tackled Flannigan..who was busting windows in the loop during SDS's days-of-rage demonstration.

PG said...

For the umpteenth time, Obama wasn't in politics or activism in the 1960s. He was barely 7 when the Chicago convention took place. That's a fight for boomers. The article (which is from April, not last month) just goes to show how dried up into the Establishment the former radicals have become -- hanging out with Bollinger instead of protesting the Kelo-fication of Manhattanville. Brian Flanagan was on freaking Jeopardy. What do you think Ayers would do even if Obama invited him to sleep in the Lincoln bedroom? Burn it down? Nor can I figure out from you whether Obama's problem is that he's too associated with the '60s radicals, or with their sworn enemies in the Chicago machine. (Elrod was not the sheriff at the time he was paralyzed in the rioting; he was an associate city counsel and the son of a ward boss, a lawyer in a suit who grabbed Flanagan around the waist to stop him as he was running from police.) The battle was between Daley's police and the SDS kids.

Obama's a lot closer to my generation, which went to college to get jobs as i-bankers or go on to law school, not to study with Marxists and start the revolution. Probably the most radical member of CC '83 is the Libertarian VP candidate (and isn't he a charmer).

When some undergrads went on a hunger strike at Columbia a few years ago, they were mocked by nearly all their fellow undergrads, even the majority who identify as "liberal." It's considered the wrong kind of retro. This generation gets its way through putting on a suit or filing a suit.

PG said...

Elrod himself, incidentally, would deny Kurtz's repeated statements that Ayers never has expressed any remorse or regret about radical activities.

Thus it was that in 2001, just before the September 11th attacks, Elrod accepted an invitation to dinner with two of the onetime leaders of Weatherman-Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. At a restaurant in downtown Chicago, Elrod and his wife listened as the two former radicals, now long married, with a family of their own, apologized for the heartache and suffering Elrod endured as a result of that day. The pair made it clear that they did not believe Flanagan caused Elrod's injuries, and that they were not disavowing their militant beliefs. Still, "they were remorseful," Elrod says. "They said, 'We're sorry that things turned out this way.'"

Bill Baar said...

What do you think Ayers would do even if Obama invited him to sleep in the Lincoln bedroom?

They'll talk money and contracts... that's what Ayer's become. It's what Elrod's always been.

It's why the Democrat's bailout plan includes a huge payout to ACRON.

That's what Progressivism's become these days. In Chicago the Progressives and The Machine married. Elrod dines with Ayers and it's all about money, contracts, and spreading power and spoils.

Obama's claimed three Spiritual mentors in his life: Rev Wright, Father Pfeger, and Ill State Sen Rev Meeks. The Churches of all three took big handouts from the Fed.

I bet Sarah Palin's have never taken a dime.

I'll take Palin's Pentacostalism any time over Chicago style largess for votes.

PG said...

I bet Sarah Palin's have never taken a dime.

One of the main reasons a church would get government money is to help it run charitable programs, i.e. faith-based initiatives. If taking government money helps a church fulfill its mission of aiding the needy, I don't have much of a problem with it so long as the church behaves like any other government contractor with regard to non-discrimination law.

Wasilla Assembly of God, judging by their church bulletins, does exactly two charitable services a year: buying shoes for kids in the spring, and running a coat drive in the fall. I can see why they wouldn't be interested in government money, especially as it might attract IRS attention and they'd have to be more cautious in discussing politics.

The Democratic bailout plan doesn't mention ACORN at all. Have you actually read it, or are you basing this from something you read on a rightwing blog? The Dodd draft actually says in reference to any profits that are realized off buying these mortgage-backed securities (profits! ha!):

(1) DEPOSITS.—Not less than 20 percent of any profit realized on the sale of each troubled asset purchased under this Act shall be deposited as provided in paragraph (2).
(2) USE OF DEPOSITS.—Of the amount referred to in paragraph (1)—
(A) 65 percent shall be deposited into the Housing Trust Fund established under section 1338 of the Federal Housing Enterprises Regulatory Reform Act of 1992 (12 U.S.C. 4568);
(B) 35 percent shall be deposited into the Capital Magnet Fund established under section 1339 of that Act (12 U.S.C. 4569).

ACORN's housing project could apply to the state and local governments that would disburse these funds for the purpose of developing or managing affordable housing, although that's not really what that project does -- they're more counseling. But the idea that ACORN could capture all of the money even if it were oriented to counseling is just about as ludicrous as you would expect information from Michelle Malkin to be.

Anonymous said...

That's just atrocious. Lots of states (e.g. New Mexico, California, Michigan, Washington, Maine!) border foreign nations - that doesn't automatically give the governors foreign affairs experience.

And how does the bailout help health care reform? She was awful. And I agree with you, she should have seen these questions coming. She does have a degree in Journalism, does she not?

I loved the look on Katie Couric's face in the second interview. It's the only time I've ever wished to be a mind reader.