Tag Archives: bail out

New Romney Ad Claims Ohio Doing Poorly But Don’t Tell Governor Kasich

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image of Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney: Don’t look behind the curtain!

Now that the party conventions are over, the meat of the 2012 US Presidential campaign gets underway. Non-stop campaign stops in battle ground states and wall-to-wall advertisements on TV and radio. Except this week here in Ohio. Ads from the Romney campaign have been few and far between. Since the Democratic Convention ended I’ve seen one ad from a pro-Romney super pac and one Romney ad. Picking up where the GOP left off during their convention, the new Romney ad is less than truthful and contradicts Ohio’s Republican Governor John Kasich.
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The Tea Party-GOP doesn’t care about YOU

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The Tea Party/GOP thinks you are stupid and want to keep you that way. How else could the Big Corporate world, who back the Tea Party/GOP, convince you to vote against your own best interests? How else could you complain about government run health care before going to a doctor appointment paid for by Medicare? Why else would the TP/GOP candidates complain about deficits yet want to give bail outs and welfare to the Big Corps. The Tea Party/GOP doesn’t care about you.

They hope you don’t remember we had tax cuts from President Bush in 2001 and they didn’t help the economy. Ask yourself – where are those jobs that Bush promised? Over 8 years he only helped create a net of 3 million jobs. President Clinton helped create around 26 million in his 8 years.

They hope you don’t remember that they blocked any attempt to hold the bankers that crashed our economy accountable for their crimes. If the banks hadn’t been allowed to do what they did by the relaxing and non-enforcement of banking policy (changed in the mid-1990s by the GOP), and if the banks hadn’t relaxed their own standards to keep up the housing bubble, we wouldn’t be in this mess.

They want you to forget they got us into an unnecessary war in Iraq based on lies. There were no WMDs and Saddam Hussein had NOTHING to do with 9/11.

That is why the GOP lost in a big way in 2008.

Voting for the TP/GOP or staying home means one wants to continue the failed Republican policies of 2001-2008, messing with programs that help real people like the Health Reform Act and Social Security, and electing someone who wants to deny reproductive rights for women, for a start. Not to mention the other rights and liberties they want to roll back.

Since President Obama took office the TP/GOP voted against the unemployed, health care reform, small businesses, against a bill that would prevent medical expenses to be included in credit scoring, against veterans, and voted against the 9/11 first responders. And they are doing it funded by anonymous and in some cases foreign big business interests.

The TP/GOP doesn’t care about YOU.

Two years is not long enough to fire the Democrats. Bush and the TP/GOP messed up the country over 8 years. We almost slipped into a depression. Although not the best results, the Democrats passed a health care reform package, fiance reform, equal pay rights for women, helping bring the promise of the Internet to the country side, rescuing the auto industry from collapse, and much more even while the cheap labor conservatives in the TP/GOP said “No!”. And they said “No!” about everything coming from the Democrats.

The TP/GOP doesn’t care about YOU. They only care to make the rich richer and middle class extinct. They want to GO BACK to what the world was like before January 20th 2009. They want you to forget what it was REALLY like back then. They want to create a fascist state where the merchant class owns and rules the nation while us regular people SERVE them. The top six laws the TP/GOP think need to go away help a majority of people in this country. Voting for them means you don’t want social security, Medicare, Minimum Wage, and Unemployment Benefits to start.

If that’s what you want, if you want to prove you are stupid, then vote for the Tea Party/GOP or stay home, but don’t complain when you are not better off then you in 2012 then you are today.

Bail Outs Revisited

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In previous posts, I have supported bail outs for our banking system and auto makers because of the fried economy. I still think government intervention is a good emergency tool to use to prevent a complete collapse, but because of politics, the bail outs turned out to be a bad idea. It reminds me of a panhandler asking for a couple of bucks to “get something to eat” but you know he or she is just going to use to buy a 40 oz. At some point you have to say no.

I think the factors that play into a decision for government intervention should be based on the national interest. It’s like the old moral situation that if you knew something bad was going to happen and could prevent it, but it might lead to your death, would you still act?

There really is no debate that the economy is a foundation of a peaceable livable society. Look at all the countries that have poor economies – they tend to have bad political and social situations.

The banks need some infusion of cash to keep them open because it might have led to a domino effect – one fails then they take others with them. Part of that is confidence. The reason the Great Depression was so “great” was because of a lack of confidence and government intervention at the time helped restore some confidence.

The auto industry is a different interest based on the number of people employed not only making the cars but those who supply the makers and the subsidiary economy dependent on the industry. For 2 or more of those companies to fail would hurt big time. Probably as bad as the rust belt era of the 1970′s when dozens of steel makers and other heavy industries went bust putting millions out of work.

The problem I see is that once the money came in nobody seemed to work on changing or saving their business. AIG and the banks still paid their bonuses, had their lavish parties, and held on to the money for mergers. The auto makers just kept up their business as usual while Senators and Congress critters insisted that Unions take all the lumps.

So while I still think the bail outs were a good idea – I admit they didn’t work out like they were sold to us. But that’s what happens when you give away money without strings attached.

What should have happened was the large banks and AIG who were failing should have been broken up and those struggling with toxic assets should have had those assets taken off the books at their current value – why should the bank profit from their own bad decision. Bonuses should have been stopped as well as any spending not directly connected to doing their core business – like office redecoration, parties, or lobbying.

Then there would be a follow up with a review and changes, if needed, in government banking regulations to try and prevent this problem from happening again.

The auto makers should have presented a plan about how they will change their product mix and business model to reduce expenses while moving toward more energy efficient cars and trucks, as well as those that use alternative fuels. The goal is moving to a leaner business and one that will be able to compete and contribute to the move off our oil dependency.

It’s not any different than when a person asks for a business loan – you have to show a viable business plan – or you have investors who can kick you to the curb if you endanger their return on their investment through bad decisions.

Tough Love for Auto Makers but not for the Banks

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On Monday President Obama basically threw two of the three US auto makers under a bus when he announced that GM and Chrysler were at the end of their credit line from the US Treasury. It just seemed off to me that the Wall Street con-men who fried the economy, still got billions in bonuses, and whose CEOs hardly got shoved around, got better treatment than the auto makers. Maybe I am not understanding this “tough love” concept I keep hearing about.

I do understand that there needs to be a systematic change in how the auto makers operate as a condition for help but I also believe there needs to be the same kind of changes to the banking industry that actually got us into this mess – like a return to some form of The Glass-Steagall Act and reform in the bank regulatory agencies to enforce existing laws. Also the leadership of the banks that approved the actions that led to the bust should be removed and in some cases the bad banks and AIG need to be wind down and broken up.

Instead we get the removal of the GM CEO and calls for Unions to trash their contracts in an effort to reduce their wages to the same level as workers at foreign owned factories in the US. GM was given 60 days to change and Chrysler was given 30 days to merge with another company.

I just don’t see the fairness of the treatment and yes I know the businesses aren’t the same, but seems to me to be like the guy who held and fired the gun is getting a special deal while the guy driving the get away car is getting the death sentence.

I subscribe to the John Rawls concept of justice – “According to Rawls, ignorance of these details about oneself will lead to principles that are fair to all. If an individual does not know how he will end up in his own conceived society, he is likely not going to privilege any one class of people, but rather develop a scheme of justice that treats all fairly.”

As Eugene Robinson wrote in his column:

Both the credit crunch and the reluctance of consumers to spend what money they have left are the direct result of Wall Street’s atrocious misbehavior. Yet the administration’s plan for rescuing the banking sector involves generous inducements, big subsidies and the opportunity for wealthy investors to become much wealthier while assuming very little risk. There are reasons for structuring the bank bailout this way, and there are reasons to take a get-tough attitude with the auto companies. But the juxtaposition is galling — and, for many autoworkers, potentially devastating.

Detroit Dissonance

So where is the fairness in treatment? Where is the justice?

Maybe I’m missing something?

Why Cramer vs Stewart matters?

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The recent spat between Jon Stewart, host of The Daily Show, and Jim Cramer, host of Mad Money on CNBC has been entertaining. It started with a scathing 8 minute video clip of the incestuous relationship between the talking heads on CNBC and the CEOs and climaxed with a face to face discussion between Stewart and Cramer on The Daily Show Thursday night. But why should we care about two TV hosts bantering back and forth like enemies on the junior high play ground? It’s because it shows a light on the problems we have in our so called free press.

As I’ve written before, the classic idea of the press is to be advocate of the people who are suppose to be objective and ask our leaders the tough questions, we, the public either would like to ask ourselves or need an answer. When the press fails to do that, as all too often happens in the corporate media of today, their reporting becomes more like propaganda than journalism.

Jon Stewart and his Daily Show staff – which by the way is a comedy show – showed in their 8 minute clip that CNBC missed the recent financial melt down even as the red flags marched down Wall Street and instead they continued to have a parade of CEOs on claiming “don’t panic”. CNBC was so caught up in having the access to all these rich guys they failed to report about the storm clouds and problems that started in the housing market in 2007.

Financial news shows are not the place to be passing off press releases from CEOs as reporting. People who trusted the network got hurt if they didn’t take action before the market melt down. As Stewart told Cramer last night on his show “This is not a game…”

As James Moore wrote on Huffington Post:

Nonetheless, reporters at the big TV networks and the major publications have no excuse. Minute by minute people like Jim Cramer are feeding crap into our culture and public perceptions and it has nothing to do with reality and everything to do with their egos. How is it that a comedian is the first person to hold accountable these cheerleaders who are promoting a team that has no chance to win and, in some cases, isn’t even in the damned game?

Analysts doing the autopsy on newspaper reporting and the corpse of mainstream journalism are constantly lamenting the fact that so many young people and an increasing number of others are getting their news from Jon Stewart and Comedy Central. Where else is there left to look for thoughtful, analytical, and insightful analysis of the issues of our day? The yuks are just a bonus. Cable news shows can proclaim “no bias, no bull” all they want but every story is framed for a purpose, which is drama and conflict. The viewers and the readers aren’t there without the dramatic tension. You might as well be watching Law and Order: Special News Unit.

And a Comic Shall Lead Them

Yes, negative press can hurt a business but journalists have a responsibility to report the truth even if that means negative reports about a business or market. An uninformed public is a powerless public and they get hurt far worse than these CEOs who stole our money. As Stewart pointed out our 401k’s capitalized their adventures.

Here is part 3 of the Stewart vs Cramer interview on the Thursday Daily Show

*Update*

Saw this bit in a column by Glenn Greenwald on Salon’s website and thought it makes the same point I was making but includes the entire press establishment:

That’s the heart of the (completely justifiable) attack on Cramer and CNBC by Stewart. They would continuously put scheming CEOs on their shows, conduct completely uncritical “interviews” and allow them to spout wholesale falsehoods. And now that they’re being called upon to explain why they did this, their excuse is: Well, we were lied to. What could we have done? And the obvious answer, which Stewart repeatedly expressed, is that people who claim to be “reporters” are obligated not only to provide a forum for powerful people to make claims, but also to then investigate those claims and then to inform the public if the claims are true. That’s about as basic as it gets.

Today, everyone — including media stars everywhere — is going to take Stewart’s side and all join in the easy mockery of Cramer and CNBC, as though what Stewart is saying is so self-evidently true and what Cramer/CNBC did is so self-evidently wrong. But there’s absolutely nothing about Cramer that is unique when it comes to our press corps. The behavior that Jon Stewart so expertly dissected last night is exactly what our press corps in general does — and, when compelled to do so, they say so and are proud of it.

There’s nothing unique about Jim Cramer