Bailout Washington – New York Collapses

Some were FOR it and some were AGAINST it.  

The bailout is the only feasible option in fixing the downward spiral which is impacting our economy.  Yes, we are headed toward recession, yet it is not the type of recession that economists normally predict or expect.  It is a RECESSION of enormous magnitude.  The timing, prior to the holiday season, is going to result in massive layoffs in all industries – construction, financial services, and the service industry – being the most susceptible.  The economy is dependent on consumer spending in the fourth quarter, yet it is unlikely that such spending will arrive this year, compliments of congressional incompetence and presidential failure.

Some members of Congress voted based on politics, while others understood that there simply was no other alternative.  “Free market” Republicans expect the market to correct itself.  Government intervention is simply wrong.  Ironically, these are the same Republicans that said NO to regulation and oversight under the Bush administration, thereby providing an assist in pushing us into this current environment.  When will they understand that a hemorraging market requires the ER and not simply an aspirin?

Then there are members on the other side, particularly the Congressional Black Caucus, who want the government to bail out homeowners, not Wall Street.  Unfortunately, while it sounds fine and well serving, a failure in bailing out Wall Street will leave these same homeowner’s without a place to call home.  

If the credit situation is left to the “free market” then expect continued layoffs, financial failures, foreclosures, and congressional politics.  Small businesses CANNOT function without the credit lines necessary for growth and expansion.  The construction industry, already slowing, will grow to a halt as credit lines dry up.  If these businesses fail, then unemployment will only continue to climb.  Homeowners will then be saddled in larger debt without an avenue out.

It’s imperitive that the political thinking behind such a rescue plan understand that the middle class suffers if no action is taken.  Retirement accounts and 401K’s essentially become worthless.  Stocks are now a thing of the past since the volatility in the markets has spooked individuals to seek a quick exit and other more stable alternatives.  Expect the fall of hedge funds to be next.  Many will simply collapse in the next three weeks under the panic of “give me my money.”  Which ailing bank will be the next to fall under extreme pressure?  Fifth Third? SunTrust?  These bank failures are shaking the resolve of the public, yet Congress continues to play politics on both sides of the aisle.  

When will people realize that it is not about Wall Street.  It’s about our jobs, our homes, and the small businesses which have struggled under this failed administration and the Republican puppets which ceded much of their power to King George.

Unfortunately, in a rush to pass the bailout plan, Congress failed to sell it to the public.  There was no Donald Trump, Michael Bloomberg, Bill Gates, or Warren Buffet to step up to the plate.  Convincing the American public that Congress is acting in the best intent of taxpayers is what has been missing.  The Republican delay tactics did succeed in convincing the public that it was a Wall Street and not Main Street bailout.  Conservative commentators, such as Glenn Beck, even understood that the bailout, while undesirable, was the only viable option.  Wall Street may be in New York, yet its reach extends across all neighborhoods of this nation.

Americans need to meet reality and understand that the pastry shop around the corner is dependent on banks for their future growth.  High school students are dependent on banks for college loans.  Local and state governments are also dependent on banks for higher yields on taxpayer investments.  How can any of these occur without government intervention.  If we allow the current situation to remain unfixed and sit back patiently for the arrival of the free market, then expect the following:

– Higher property taxes.  Cities and counties cannot simply reduce their budgets without making drastic cuts, whether it be to schools or public services.  Foreclosed properties not only impact the equity in surrounding properties, but it also strains the tax revenue of local jurisdictions.

– Mega monopolies.  Such is already occurring and yet, while we’re fixing a current problem, we are also creating a future problem.  Allowing a handful of banks to sature markets.  Monopolies are not and have not been consumer friendly.  We must provide strength to struggling banks and not simply allow the monsters (Chase, Citibank, and Bank of America)to consume their operations.

– Higher unempolyment.  The financial service industry has already begun the trend.  Expect construction and the service industry to follow very close behind.  Most of manufacturing has already been outsourced and the agricultural industry has been dwindling even prior to this crisis.

While I am a firm believer in less government, I also understand the severity of our current situation.  I also believe that NO government intervention, as the “free marketers” desire, is largely responsible for our current problem.  In this bailout, the government is purchasing assets – bad mortgage loans.  There is a risk, yet the risk is low.  The likelihood is that the properties will sell at a purchase price greater than the loan itself.  Once the property is sold the government would then dispose itself of the bad loan and keep the amount that it invested.  The only bad aspect to this is that we have now made the federal government the largest depositer in the nation.  However, to somehow expect banks to handle the severity of the situation on their own is ridiculous.  They are the parties that have placed us in this perilous situation in the first place.  

To expect banks to take out insurance on the bad mortgages, as the free marketers have proposed, is also crazy.  Who would want to insure a bad investment?  Didn’t the insurance rates of homeowners in Florida and Louisiana go up as a result of Hurricane Andrew and Katrina?  Therefore, it’s easy to conclude that the insurance rates on these bad loans would have very high premiums.  The result is that consumers, those holding accounts at such banks, would then be charged the additional costs.  The insurance proposal also does not provide the immediate fix that the economy requires.  Rebates to taxpayers also does not since it does not address the real problem – the inability to secure credit.

It may take more slides in the stock market and the collapse of hedge funds before Congress understands that the time for politics has expired.  The only certainty from this whole crisis is that Bush has been assured his place in history.  Herbert Hoover must finally be relieved!!!      

OR-SEN: Rothenberg Calling Race “Lean Dem. Takeover”

Stuart Rothenbergis probably the most conservative prognosticator when he classifies House, Senate and Gubernatorial races, which is why it’s big news that he has moved the Oregon Senate Race to “Lean Takeover” from “Toss-up”. He also did the same for Colorado and moved Lousiana and Kentucky to “Narrow Advantage for Incumbent Party”. Overall, four seats moved in our direction. Here is the summary below.

NOTE: In another column], said he would not argue with anyone who calls Kentucky a “toss-up”.

Here are our latest Senate ratings. Our latest estimate is a Democratic gain of 5-8 seats.

# = Moved benefiting Democrats

* = Moved benefiting Republicans

Likely Takeover (2 R, 0 D)

NM Open (Domenici, R)

VA Open (Warner, R)

Lean Takeover (4 R, 0 D)

Smith (R-OR) #

Stevens (R-AK)

Sununu (R-NH)

CO Open (Allard, R) #

Toss-Up (1 R, 0 D)

Dole (R-NC)

Narrow Advantage for Incumbent Party (3 R, 1 D)

Coleman (R-MN)

Landrieu (D-LA) #

McConnell (R-KY) #

Wicker (R-MS)

Clear Advantage for Incumbent Party (1 R, 0 D)

Collins (R-ME)

Currently Safe (12 R, 11 D)

ID Open (Craig, R)

NE Open (Hagel, R)

Alexander (R-TN)

Barrasso (R-WY)

Chambliss (R-GA)

Cochran (R-MS)

Cornyn (R-TX)

Enzi (R-WY)

Graham (R-SC)

Inhofe (R-OK)

Roberts (R-KS)

Sessions (R-AL)

Baucus (D-MT)

Biden (D-DE)

Durbin (D-IL)

Harkin (D-IA)

Johnson (D-SD)

Kerry (D-MA)

Lautenberg (D-NJ)

Levin (D-MI)

Pryor (D-AR)

Reed (D-RI)

Rockefeller (D-WV)

Several new Rasmussen Pres. swing state polls


McCain (R) 47%

Obama (D) 47%…


McCain (R) 48%

Obama (D) 47%…


Obama (D) 50%

McCain (R) 42%…


Obama (D) 49%

McCain (R) 48%…


Obama (D) 50%

McCain (R) 47%…

Solid numbers for Obama in all five states.

AL-02: Bobby Bright’s Religious Jujitsu

Bobby Bright is by no means my favorite kind of Democrat, but he sure knows how to turn conservative groups against each other. The Politico is reporting that Bobby Bright was able to use Freedom’s Watch’s attacks nto an opportunity to get the Christian Coalition to his side.

They might ordinarily find themselves rooting for the same candidates, but the Christian Coalition is no fan of Freedom’s Watch and its major funder, casino magnate Sheldon Adelson.

Last week, Freedom’s Watch launched a new ad campaign slamming Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright for what it said was a record of raising taxes. Bright fired back with his own ad citing his “conservative Christian values,” implicitly in contrast with those of Freedom’s Watch and Adelson, who is Jewish.

The Christian Coalition takes issue with Adelson, who made billions — he’s the country’s fifteenth-richest man, according to this year’s Forbes 400 list — in the casino business, with properties in Las Vegas and Macau. The Venetian Macau is what sticks in the craw of social conservatives. “Where Adelson has placed his treasure makes it quite clear where his heart is: in gambling and in backing the regime in China that persecutes Christians,” Alabama Christian Coalition president Randy Brinson said in a statement.

The coalition also invokes disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who helped Native American tribes get approval for new casinos, often aiding his clients by funneling money to Christian organizations that would then rally in opposition to other tribes’ efforts. “We’re tired of the Abramoffs and Adelsons of this world using their ill-gotten gains to try to buy elections and influence,” Brinson said.

Bright, running as a conservative Democrat, actually attends the same church as his opponent, State Rep. Jay Love. The Christian Coalition called on Love to repudiate the Freedom’s Watch ads as well.

Yes it is very unseemly, but then so are the Repubcians, Freedom’s Watch and the Republicans. And it is a rare Democrat who knows how to turn the GOP’s factions against each other.

Republican Obstructionists – Meet a Few who Said NO Bailout

Minority Leader said he would deliver and YES he did indeed…Here are 14 votes which Boehner should have had:

David Davis – Defeated in primary and is NOT standing for re-election.  Voted NO.

Jerry Weller – Retiring and yet he doesn’t even show up for the vote.

David Reichert – Seattle based Washington Mutual collapsed and unlike Shays and Kirk, both who represent districts dependent on the financial services, Reichert’s district is also dependent, yet he votes NO.

Louie Gohment, Jeb Hensarling, Michael Conway, and Ted Poe – None are facing an opponent and ALL are Bush prodigies from Texas, yet four more NO votes.

Scott Garrett – Another district that employs many on Wall Street and the financial service industry.  Another NO vote.

Judy Biggert – One again another district dependent on the financial service industry and another NO vote.

Kevin McCarthy – No opponent this year and yet another NO vote.

Ginny Brown-Waite – Represents the district with the largest concentration of retirees.  Wonder if she knows that their retirement investments are becoming worthless.  Another NO vote.

Duncan Hunter – Retiring and represents a strong Republican district.  Voting NO once again.

Lee Terry – Hopefully Warren Buffet will turn out the brigades to finally defeat your incompetence.  Another NO vote.

Chris Smith – Another district dependent on the financial services.  Expect this race to tighten as a result of Smith’s NO vote.

Vulnerable Republicans that voted YEA:

Chris Shays and Mark Kirk – Both districts highly dependent on financial service industry.

Peter King – A NO vote would have had disastrous effects on King.

Frank Wolf and Jon Porter – Democratic leaning districts and vulnerable more than ever.

Democrats who are largely SAFE which bucked the party.  They also represent districts which are sufferring:

– A large number from the Congressional Black Caucus (Butterfield, Jackson, Jackson Lee, Conyers, Cummings, Green, Edwards, Clay, Johnson, Payne, Thompson, Lee, Rush, Scott, Lewis, Kilpatrick, and Watson).

– A large number of Hispanic members also bucked the party (Baca, Napolitano, Pastor, Serrano, Roybal-Allard, Linda Sanchez, Becerra, and Solis).  These would have provided a decent number of votes as well.

– Then there are of course the Democrats facing no opponent that also voted NO (Lynch and Delahunt from MA, AND Welch from VT).

Pelosi definately didn’t do a good job winning over these coalitions.  Those alone would have passed the bill.  Enough blame for BOTH sides.

PA-10: Carney Leads Comfortably

Lycoming College (9/21-25, likely voters):

Chris Carney (D-inc): 46

Chris Hackett (R): 36

(MoE: ±4.6%)

We’ve gotten up-and-down results in the race for Pennsylvania’s 10th District (a.k.a. “Chris vs. Chris”). Democratic internals have shown Chris C. doubling up on Chris H., but a recent SurveyUSA poll showed only a 4-point margin.

A new poll from Lycoming College (located in Williamsport, the population center of the district) gives Carney a bit more breathing room in this R+8 district, although he’s still below the magic 50% mark. Obama coattails in this heavily pro-Clinton district may not be strong, but maybe local-boy-made-good Joe Biden is generating some coattails of his own.

FL-25: Mario Diaz-Balart in a Tight Race

Research 2000 for Daily Kos (9/23-25, likely voters):

Joe Garcia (D): 41

Mario Diaz-Balart (R-inc): 45

(MoE: ±5%)

The only other poll we’ve seen of this race was a Bendixen survey from June that showed GOP incumbent Mario Diaz-Balart in a similarly tight spot: leading Garcia 44-39.

The most impressive part for Garcia? Obama is losing this district by a 53-38 margin, so he’s outperforming the top of the ticket by a significant margin. Markos notes that a new SUSA poll shows Obama on the upswing in Southeast Florida, so perhaps this margin may improve.

Garcia still faces a tough fight ahead of him in this R+4.4 district, but this is clearly shaping up to be the toughest battle of Mario Diaz-Balart’s career.

SSP currently rates this race as Lean Republican.

NC-Sen: Hagan’s Lead Expands

PPP (9/28-29, likely voters, 9/17-19 in parens):

Kay Hagan (D): 46 (46)

Elizabeth Dole (R-inc): 38 (41)

Christopher Cole (L): 6 (6)

(MoE: ±3%)

Pinch me: Kay Hagan has opened up an eight-point lead in the North Carolina Senate race. Hagan is stationary at 46, but Dole has lost another three points. Nearly every pollster is now showing a lead for Hagan.

The same sample gives Obama a 47-45 lead over McCain. And while a lot of this movement must have to do with the turmoil in the banking and finance industries (which is a major employer in Charlotte), bear in mind that this was taken before today’s announcement of Citi’s acquisition of NC-based Wachovia, which seems likely to drive current trends even further.