Saturday, October 11, 2008

Arabs to the left of us.....

Arabs to the right. Here I am stuck in the middle with you......

I haven't spent any time writing here on the Presidential campaigns. While sometimes interesting, surreal, groundbreaking and entertaining, I just haven't felt the need to say anything.

Until now.

First off, a guy in Minnesota says that he's afraid of raising his child in a country where Obama is President. To which, John McCain replies there is no need to fear Barack Obama. He's a decent family man, a decent man, to which the crowd replies BOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

Then, later another lady says she cannot trust Obama, because, and I'm not making this up, he's an Arab. John McCain then snatches the mike out of her hand and says, no, he is not an Arab. Come on. If you are going to hate someone for their race or the color of their skin, at least get it right. He's a BLACK GUY. Last time I checked, being Arab was not illegal - one more 9/11 attack, and MAYBE it will be. Certainly I know a lot of Arabs FEEL like it's illegal to be Arab in America.

I cannot wait to hear how this will be spun on Monday. But I think it will go something like this (bulletized for your convenience):

  • Why did you not have any of the good comments, only the bad ones (maybe a fair assertion)
  • Well, that's just the liberal media trying to make John McCain look bad (when in reality, it made him look good by taking control of a situation turning ugly)
  • People are angry. Stuff happens. The liberals have anger too, but the MSM just refuses to cover it.

I think that John McCain looked genuinely hurt that this happened. I really sensed that. You could see it in his face. For one second, I felt kind of sorry for him. But, then I remembered "I'm John McCain and I approved this message".

For most of the last two weeks, the McCain campaign, in an effort to take the eyes off the molten meltdown of the economy have been touting Barack Osama (oops, I mean Obama) as a terrorist and a terrorist sympathizer. The most dangerous man, trying to become President. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

So, when it turns ugly, you can't really now say, well, hey, he's a great guy. A dedicated family man. All that other stuff we said? Hey, you know, that's just part of the campaign. Wink, wink. We really didn't MEAN it.

We need to get off of this negative stuff. People are losing their homes. Their jobs. Their life savings. The Dow is dropping faster than a big rock dropped into a deep lake, with all the ripples that you get when you drop a rock in a lake emanating out into the world financial markets.

And what doe the McCain campaign want to focus on? Some board Barack Obama sat on with some guy several years back, and the guy on that board did bad things - of course, Barack Obama was EIGHT YEARS OLD when those things happened. Simply by KNOWING the guy, that makes him a terrorist.

I think Americans are looking for leadership, but, sadly the candidates don' t have anything else other than to bring stuff like this up. The Republicans simply cannot stop this campaigning because it is all they've known for twenty years or more. First with Lee Atwater, then with Karl Rove, and now the disciples that Karl Rove trained up. It's pretty hard to throw the manual out the window, especially since it worked - until now.

America saw last night some real ugliness. When it goes bad, it's easy to blame minorities and outsiders. History has a long list of that happening. Most of those situations turned out bad.

I hope that we're better than that.

I don't know though.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

CRA? Please. Give me a break

The newest story put forth by Conservatives is that the current financial meltdown can be blamed on some do gooder, socialism minded liberals and minorities.

The abridged story told by the Conservative spin machine is that a program called the Community Reinvestment Act passed in the seventies and beefed up by Bill Clinton FORCED banks to give minorities bad loans, which led to this current crisis. So, it is all the fault of community organizers (hey, wasn't that Barack Obama guy a community organizer?), Liberal Democrats and minorities.

I am going to post a few articles from various sources below which debunk this story quite nicely. The problem is that those who are disposed to believe this will not believe the stories because they come from the LIBERAL spin machine - the mainstream media.

Of course, if you look hard enough you can find articles to justify that the CRA was to blame (go to any conservative talk radio person's blog or web site and I'll bet you'll find it). The above is just a random sampling of several articles supporting the idea of this fallacy. I could probably post 15 or 20 that I've found.

Most of the bad loans given were given by institutions NOT covered by the dictates of the CRA.

They gave those loans out not because of any altruism that they wanted to see the joy of someone owning a home, or fear of government regulation. They gave those loans out because they made a lot of money doing so.

There has been a lot of talk about the loan givers. Not much talk about the loan takers. At the risk so sounding cold and politically incorrect, some of those people had no business owning the homes they were put into. Some of them could not afford the homes, but the desire for instant gratification, and the American desire for consumption made the loan an easy take. The loan guy probably said, well, one more loan won't hurt the system (IF he had the scruples to think that way), and the loanee, in most cases said, well, I MIGHT get a better job before the big numbers come due, or I MIGHT get a raise.

What we got in the end was disaster.

There are several reasons this story (the CRA = Housing Crash/Credit Crunch story) needs to be pedaled now. One is to try to take down Barack Obama's campaign a few notches. The most important reason though is to blame a powerless group to divert attention from the big companies who gave out these reckless loans and the other ones that ran their companies into the dirt through risky and reckless accounting practices. Also to divert attention from a system in Washington which turned a blind eye while all this was going on.

It is also to deflect attention from their child like mantra that if you only take the hands off the market, the market will do the right thing, and will eventually correct itself. This works great, right up to the moment the government has to step in and pump massive infusions of cash in to save whatever capitalist venture that has gone wrong.

If they admitted to these things, they would have to admit that their premises about capitalism and economics were mostly incorrect.

Never mind all of this stuff above.

Does it really sound plausible that handing out a few bags of shekels to some minorities could be the cause of the WHOLE WORLD ECONOMIC SYSTEM to crash in a violent and cataclysmic manner? I don't even know how they can say it with a straight face.

And if that small event could cause the whole system to crash, what does that say about the robustness of the system? The resiliency of the system?

Not much in my opinion.

There is something fundamentally wrong with the system. In the weeks, months and years to come, we MIGHT find out what it is, or we might not.

It is acknowledged now that a lot of folks thought they understood the system, but that it has become so fast acting and complex that they do not understand it at all.

In the mean time, the need exists for those who can look at the WHOLE economy. Not just the bits and pieces that strike the media fancy that day (i.e. the stock market one day, unemployment the next).

Going to be some interesting, painful, scary times.