The Day Conservatism Died

It’s over. To argue otherwise would not just be a failure of observation, but a crass exercise in intellectual dishonesty. Why do I say this? Come on, you know. You watch the news. You read. For those who still cling to the “conservative values” drilled into us by our parents, it is time to wake up. It was all a lie, designed to trick poor (white) folks into voting against their interests. The market is not a panacea–it’s a warm, wet host for the virus of greed. America’s financial system is in shambles, and Republicans are directly, unequivocally responsible. Conservatism is dead.

Unfortunately, this economic meltdown is only one part of a perfect storm. If we were to look down on it from space, we’d see this disaster swirling alongside the transformation of John McCain from honest maverick to lying, cynical panderer…mixing with the choice of Sarah Palin, an assault on thinking people everywhere…only to finally collide with the historic failure of the Bush Presidency. Add it all up, my friends, and you have the end of an ideology.

If I sound angry and perhaps a bit irrational, it is for good reason. In the interest of full disclosure, my father is very sick. The costs inflicted upon him and his new wife over the past few months have destroyed his hope for a comfortable retirement. His debt is mounting and I am unable to help, because I am mired in my own financial crisis. It would be unfair to suggest that this situation has not affected my subscription to the conservative worldview. It has. But to hear John McCain say yesterday that the “fundamentals of the economy are sound” nearly made my head explode. What the hell is this guy talking about? My house is worth less than my mortgage, my father is sinking into debt on his death bed, and you expect me to believe that the economy is sound? F**k you, old man.

The ideology I clung to like a soft blanket for decades has crumbled before my eyes. What was once an alliance of citizens yearning for fiscal restraint has become a coalition of the most ignorant, the least educated, and the most morally bankrupt of Americans.

My party hasn’t left me, it has left the planet.

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39 Comments

Filed under September 2008

39 responses to “The Day Conservatism Died

  1. Joyce

    I feel the same way.

  2. Red

    I hope you can spend quality time with your old man. My condolences.

  3. Really?

    Sorry to hear about your father. We’ll be praying for him and the family.

    But, the fact is the failures at Fan, Fred, and Lehman Brothers are the result of Congress forcing the market to lend to folks who couldn’t afford to borrow for housing.

    Add to that, the Federal Reserve keeping interest rates as low as they’ve been the past several years … Well you see the result.

    Don’t lay all this at the feet of “conservatism.” If the market had been allowed to operate, unfettered by government encroachment (a conservative principle), these folks would not have been allowed to borrow. Lenders would have had little reason to lend to risky prospects.

    Once again, the government tries to force an outcome and fails miserably.

    So, the “crass exercise in intellectual dishonesty” occurs when those who reflexively respond to an event don’t attempt an examination of its underlying cause.

    Doing a little bit of your homework for you … Here’s a pretty solid explanation of the key events as summarized by someone who truly understands the market:

    “The key date on the financial crisis is November 12th, 1999. It was on that date President Bill Clinton signed the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933.

    What that did was allow commercial and investment banks to consolidate. Now, banks began trading and underwriting assets called mortgage backed securities, CDOs, and SIVs, all of the toxic waste that’s coming home to roost today.

    That was after a one-year, $200 million lobbying effort by the Democrat lobbyists to put this thing through and it was done in opposition to the Congressional Research Service’s own report, the information is out there, all anyone has to do is go do a Web search for Glass-Steagall and repeal.

    It is unbelievable that the Democrat Party is trying to lay this at the at the foot of the Republican Party when it was Bill Clinton and Democrat lobbyists that pushed this thing through.”

    In fact, Robert Reich, Secretary of Labor under Clinton, stated as much in a interview yesterday:

    In the latter years of the Clinton administration — when I was not there any longer, I should add — there was an attempt by Alan Greenspan and Bob Rubin and a few others to deregulate financial markets, and they did. They split commercial banking off from investment banking. And many people say, “Well, that was the beginning of the problem,” and then, of course, in 2003-2004, Alan Greenspan reduced short-term interest rates to the point where every single bank wanted to lend money. I mean, if you could stand up straight, you could get a bank loan because there was so much pressure to get that money out the door. Money was so cheap.

    Bottom line: Do some research before you comment.

  4. Really?

    Furthermore …

    Regarding McCain’s comments about the fundamentals of the economy, he is right.

    You may be feeling pain at the micro level (we all do from time to time). But at the macro, the economy is expanding. The number of jobs may have declined, but the number is expected rebound. And, interest rates are still relatively low (except for those who chose to go the ARM route).

    And, all of these are happening in the midst of a financial crisis. Talk about resilient!

    I’m not saying things are great. They’re not. But, we’re living through neither the Great Depression nor Jimmy Carter’s first term (does anyone remember the Misery Index?).

    Here’s an interesting column from the Washington Post that gives a different take from what you’re used to hearing in the media. The link:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/12/AR2008091202415.html?sub=new

    You have your opinion. Now, read one from someone who knows what he’s talking about.

  5. wendelljackson

    Really?,

    You’re obviously a very smart person and your comments add a lot to this blog. But isn’t it difficult to make the argument that the system works while it is failing a vast majority of your fellow Americans? I don’t disagree that Glass-Steagall was a major turning point that has led to this moment, but I feel like you’re so focused on making the conservative case that you’re ignoring the reality in front of your eyes. It feels like someone peering out at the disgusting horizon of a smog-choked major city and explaining how man-made climate change is unproven science…”just look at these statistics, right here on paper”…okay, I see your statistics, but what do your eyes tell you? What makes you so devoted to one ideology that you are so compelled to defend it when surrounded by evidence to the contrary? Bill Clinton is not innocent in the current state of the union, but he was responding to the same overarching economic theory that has driven this nation since Reagan: that the market is always the answer, and wealth will trickle down. It’s just not true. And now you’re trying to say that the reason this disaster happened is because the market wasn’t allowed to work its magic unfettered? Really, Really? I can tell you right now that I’m nowhere near as learned as you are in economics and monetary policy. But the feeling I have in my gut is the same one most Americans are having at this moment, and neither I nor they are stupid or misguided. We’re just looking at the skyline and saying, “I don’t care what the numbers say, that looks bad, and we need to reverse whatever we did to cause it.”

  6. Carolina Anole

    First, Welcome Aboard (perhaps?). I can identify- my Dad worked till age 83 (retired last year), because even though he, as a physician, “should have” been able to retire comfortably he has seen his savings diminish at an alarming rate, plus he was afraid of what would happen to his Medicaid patients- where would they go? He was one of the Last of the Mohicans in his county, and he put off retirement as long as he could. A year later some of them still don’t have a doc.

    As for me personally, we were in foreclosure twice because of a one month lapse in health care coverage while I was between jobs and my husband (self-employed with a small payroll- no affording coverage on our own) was hospitalized overnight twice for seizures (he had survived a brain aneurysm a few years prior). That’s all it takes to be looking at serious financial reversal, folks. It can and does happen to anyone! Since personal bankruptcies are now occurring primarily due to medical and hospital bills any discussion of “how we got into this mess” has to include an acknowledgment of this one issue. I have pretty darn good employer-based family coverage at present, which is expensive enough but still semi-affordable but which McCain wants to take away. He would replace my decent package now with a $5000.00 “rebate” kindof thingie, which would leave us in the hole for about $10 thou/yr. Thanks, but no…My vote for Obama is as much about self-preservation as anything, frankly.

    As to Really? Hoowee- I’m sorry but blaming Clinton for this mess is a stretch, buddy. Glass-Steagall was a reasonable thing to do given the conditions at the time; Clinton was educable, certainly, and most definitely flexible. No, I strongly feel the bigger culprit here is Phil Gramm and his fellow ideologues and the over-de-regulation movement that’s been afoot in DC, lo, these many years. Guess what, some reasonable regulation and oversight is a Good Thing, as has been made manifest by any number of events not just in the banking industry but in Pharma, mining, you name it. (And what’s with all the crane collapses lately? Hmmm…)

    No, of course this isn’t AS BAD (yet) as the Great Depression, but its just getting too damn close. We’ll be doing minor surgery on each others’ kitchen tables soon.

  7. Really?

    Wendell,

    With all due respect … You think a little too much with your heart, and a little too little with your head. Try some balance.

    Show me the statistics as to where the economy is failing the vast majority of Americans (your words). You can’t, because you don’t have it. And, please, do something more substantial than “you’re blind if you don’t see it.”

    We are nearly fully employed at 94%, the prime rate is at 5%, and we’ve had GDP growth (not recession) for the Lord knows how long. And, in the midst of a two-front war!

    Do you realize that Franklin Delano Roosevelt, along with our grandparents, would be laughing hysterically at our grousing about our current situation? We’re acting less like Americans and more like the French. And, the Libs are loving it.

    Spend a little less time with DailyKrass, the NY Times, and CNN (or at the very least, start citing them as sources in your commentary). You’re simply regurgitating the pabulum the liberal talking heads are feeding you. And, you’re eating it all up.

    But, just because you’re feeding on it doesn’t make it so.

    You support none of your suppositions with anything other than gut, instinct, feeling, or intuition. Not exactly empirical evidence, my friend. And, you act as if the rest of us are somehow disconnected from society simply because we don’t feel the same as you.

    Were you a research scientist proposing your hypotheses of pain and suffering and using nothing more than gut or instinct as evidence, you’d be laughed out of academia.

    So, since you tend more toward anecdotal than actual evidence, consider this: If people were suffering to the extent you claim, Messrs. Obama and Biden should be up 12 to 20% in polling. Easily.

    They are not. The disaffection simply isn’t there.

    But, I’m sure you’ll fall back onto your trite, hackneyed, and heartfelt “well the Christian right is a bunch of racist hayseeds.” Yet another in a long string of unsubstantiated, gut reactions.

    I have to say that during my time on your blog I’ve seen little of the thoughtful conservative you claim to be. Now would be a great time to start.

  8. Red

    We’re running on borrowed time. Growth has been artificially financed by low interest rates and deficit spending. At some point this tactic won’t work and we’ll bite the bullet. To claim we have a healthy economy when our manufacturing industry has been dying a slow death over the last 20 years, not to mention the 9 trillion dollar debt looming over our heads, is a serious misrepresentation of the facts.

  9. Carolina Anole

    And one more thing, Really? The disaffection is already here; some are more numb than others. The unemployment rates have been skewed for years and are not “real”. They don’t count those who’ve given up looking and/or are “off the books”. And don’t underestimate the obsessive power of those kamikaze “single-issue” voters- they’re all charged up out there, post-Palin Pro-Life pick. But let’s re-check the polling at the end of this week/month, shall we? When enough folks feel they’ve been whacked on the head for the umpteenth time they might care enough to get themselves registered to vote. There’s a ton of dispirited sorts out there clinging to the notion that their voting won’t matter anyway (look at Florida!); if they can be motivated through appeals to self-interest they might wake out of their dormant state….

  10. Really?

    Red,

    Artificially financed? If I borrow at a low interest rate-as I did on my fixed mortgage-it stays at that rate for the term of the loan (for a mortgage, usually 15 or 30 years). Didn’t see “artificial” stated in my contract. But, I’ll take my rate either way.

    The cost of borrowing (interest), as with the cost of other products/services, usually follows the laws of supply and demand. More supply given steady or declining demand means lower cost. And, vice-versa. The Fed tries to adjust based on this law.

    Regarding your other comments … Claim what you want, but the economy is expanding. The numbers are there. Whether it’s sustained growth or not, only time will tell. But, unless you’re prescient to a degree we’re not aware of, you’re opinion is … your opinion.

    Also, I didn’t claim the economy was “healthy.” I said “resilient.” And, based on the numbers and with all that has happened, I believe I’m right.

    And, having reviewed the numbers, I simply stated the economy is not in as dire a shape as the MSM would have one believe. I also supported that contention by citing another viewpoint (did you read it?).

    But let’s not pretend the mainstream media (MSM) don’t have a dog in this fight. There is a reason to spread the notion of misery. I won’t state the obvious.

    Regarding your point about manufacturing … As a nation we’ve been steadily moving more and more toward a service economy. It’s not a recent phenomenon.

    In my state, textile manufacturing has almost completely given way to other industries. Production can be done more efficiently and less expensively elsewhere. And, all of us have seen the benefit each time we go to the mall or visit a Walmart or Target.

    Lastly, I’d be happy to argue the numbers. But, it sounds as if they don’t really matter.

    It is a free country.

  11. Really?

    Carolina,

    You seem to be a thoughtful person. So, when I ask this question, please (please) take no offense:

    Do you have anything you can cite (polling data, research reports, Ouija Board, anything) that supports what you’ve just posted?

    Or, is this simply more of the same instinct, gut, and feelings that people seem to pass off as conclusive evidence on this blog?

    I promise … If you send it, I will read it.

  12. Red

    If the economy is healthy and expanding as you claim, where do we see this reflected in our society today? The value of the dollar has dropped off the table, financial institutions are crumbling left and right, the government is injecting liquidity into the markets like a junkie in need of a fix, and wages have not kept up with inflation. Using whatever indexes you are cherrypicking to suggest growth and a “resilient” economy is nothing more than a partisan effort to misrepresent the terrible state of the economy.

  13. Mark

    I was for McCain until the market tanked. I thought deregulation was good. Let the free market go on it’s own and that it could regulate itself better then Gov. I was wrong I admit it. McCain even now is for regulation. I would rather have the guy that’s been right for 4 years then the guy that’s been wrong for 26 years. Obama has sold me. Judgment matters more. Sorry McCain I’m off the bus too.

  14. Carolina Anole

    Well, OK, how ’bout today’s unemployment figures, 6.1%, as an obvious start. I’ve always understood that the machine functions best at generally 3% unemployment (factoring in adults of working age who want and are able to take on gainful, full-time employment; stay-at-home moms for instance, not expected to be part of this mix)- unemployable being those presumably disabled or otherwise incapable of full-time work. An extra 2% not employed is absorbable, we are that productive, but beyond 5% or so things get dicey, due to spiraling lay-offs.

    I don’t know if you recall ’87 but I sure do- I’d been a small retail owner in Boston for 3 years, and swimming along pretty well in a very competitive environment when that crash came along. Just 2 months later I was shuttering the store. This may well be worse than that.

    Look at the Cost-Of-Living indexes. Now, what if this winter is particularly cold in the NE? Will the older folks in your area freeze to death? They did here last year, a surprising number, and undoubtedly will again this time. And let’s see if they start announcing military recruitment figures again, notice they’ve been mighty quiet about those the last 2 years now (and no wonder); if they start ballyhooing an uptick in recruitment and re-enlistment the obvious conclusion to be drawn would be that no one is hiring. Is your company hiring? My employer isn’t and they are huge. Now, what has just happened to your own stock portfolio and/or 401k in the last week? Has your house held its value, or gone down 15-20% during this year? Heck, I can get that stat from my own local real estate sites! How are the crime rates in your area? Bank robberies, property theft, B & Es all up in these parts, from 2006. My basic thesis here is that a narrow ideology (on either side, for that matter) does not provide a useful long-term model. I hate to bring up the old Ship-Of-State analogy, but to sail straight you do have to tack both port and starboard, and adjust to changing winds.

  15. Carolina Anole

    One other quick note- Its wed. pm (got home from my 2nd shift job- that’s why the “pause”)- it occurs to me I’ve had 3 separate people so far this week ask me if my company’s hiring, one at church, one on the phone out-of-the-blue and a photographer (for her son- can’t find work). Oh, but that’s just anecdotal- silly me!

  16. Really?

    Red,

    Do you even read these posts? You’ve put “healthy” in my mouth twice now. But, at least you give me “resilient.”

    And, talk about cherry-picking … I’ve yet to see you supply anything other than raw opinion. Very poor argumentation.

    Guess what? As with people, firms come and go. They live and die. Some call it “economic Darwinism.” It happens.

    Also, a weak dollar (which has been getting stronger lately) makes exporting our goods a little easier. It’s one of the reasons we’re still by most reckonings at “full employment.”

    You appear to view economics as a zero-sum game. It really isn’t. A little study will prove that.

    As for partisan … A partisan is some who holds an opposing viewpoint in spite of information (not opinion) to the contrary.

    I think the color of that appellation wears better on you than on me.

  17. John

    I was McCain and now I’m undecided too. MY MONEY & MY JOB are #1 to me. and McCain doesn’t cut it.

  18. Really?

    Carole,

    Not sure where you got 3% unemployment from, but we haven’t recorded unemployment at that level since the early 50’s. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:US_unemployment_rates_1950_2005.png).

    Many economists consider full employment to be in the 4 to 6.4% range (Source: See “Structural Unemployment” heading under http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full_employement). We’re .3% under the upper limit.

    Furthermore, I travel all over the country (been to Seattle six times this year, and I live near the opposite coast). I know and meet lots of people; most of whom aren’t disaffected.

    However, I don’t feel comfortable extrapolating from my small, statistically insignificant “polling” sample, the notion that we’re all happy. It’d be akin to trying to figure out the color of a large building from a small paint chip. Yet, you’re doing that in reverse.

    If you want to get an accurate sampling of the mood of the country, one place to start is the Misery Index (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misery_index). The index is a measurement of the unemployment rate, plus inflation. The highest recorded number was 21.98 under Jimmy Carter. The last recorded on this chart for the current administration is 11.30. The highest under the Clinton administration was 10.56.

    I’ll take the measure of this index over Right Track-Wrong Track any day. Because it hits where we live.

    You seem like an earnest individual. And, I have no doubt that you’re being truthful about your neighbors and friends. I certainly wouldn’t make light of that situation.

    But, I think you’re reaching quite a bit to think it’s as pervasive as you believe.

  19. Carolina Anole

    Really-

    First, the 3% is the optimal, a Holy Grail, granted (Clinton administration came pretty close). 5% acceptable, but keep in mind the states long ago stopped counting those whose unemployment benefits “ran out”, assuming they would now have to be employed! Shocking but true; every state wants to claim low unemployment for all kinds of really obvious reasons. If you knew someone employed in an Intake capacity for Social Services of probably ’bout any state, right now (I do- my step-daughter, in NC), you would likely know this one.

    Thanks for the Wiki Misery index as it actually makes my overall point quite nicely. Note that under Clinton the Misery numbers are lowest for last several administrations, till you reach way back to Carter (woowhee!). Clinton’s “Highest” is still lower (unless my bleary eyes deceive me) than theirs. Overall, Highest under the GOP in recent years (boy, do I miss Bob Dole!) I suspect it will be going way high now, topping W’s previous numbers.

    BTW, is anyone keeping track of how many billions the Feds and W have allocated just this week alone to shore things up? I think it was 65B and then, what, 70 or 80B, on top of that? It is like yet another war has begun. And we haven’t started the one with Iran yet.

    Where would things stand right now, Really, if we had not had those “rebate” checks? Ours went right into replacing a broken appliance, not on “extras” or “travel”. I was able to make it to the dentist for a crown. Our local food banks are hurting and are on the local news a lot, begging for donations, much more than before- demand is way up.

    Now, I’m listening to Palin going on about how Obama is going to “raise everyone’s taxes” and wondering when someone calls her out, live, as the liars she and by extension McCain are, but they’re screaming “Sarah! Sarah!” And they say Obama is all about a “cult of personality”. I’m not totally thrilled with Obama, either, but I know who I’m likely to do better with. The McCain Health Care plan (I hesitate to call it a “plan”, frankly) is the one he’s been touting for months now- basically privatization, no employer-sponsorship anymore, you get $5 thou (end of year, or tax year, I think)- have fun picking something out for that money! Maybe that works for you, doesn’t for me. If I can’t keep my current plan, what with my husband’s “pre-existing condition”, we will not have health coverage! Really!

  20. Really?

    Carole,

    Again, you make claims without ANY substantiation. Do some homework, please. Just a little?

    Show me your evidence. Anything. Something other than your … opinion, which I seem to get in prodigious amounts.

    You rattle stuff off as if it were fact, failing to cite anything other than … (once again) your opinion.

    Even a moonbat article from Daily Kos confirming your assertions would be a welcome reprieve from your fact-deprived, emotionally driven … opinion. Please cite something (again, anything!) other than dinner-table conversations, your time in the line at Roche Brothers, or who knows what.

    Regarding Clinton’s misery index … Billy Bob wasn’t in the midst of funding a two-front war. (OBTW: While still in that same war, the index is marginally over Clinton’s). Love how you twisted and misinterpreted that one. A lie of omission is still a lie.

    Side note: Had Clinton taken out OBL when he had the chance (and he had a couple of those), we’d be having a different discussion here. Don’t you think?

    Regarding Freddie and Fannie, take a look at whose campaigns got the most in financing from these companies. Clue: Christopher Dodd, Barack Obama and (your own) John Kerry! Doing your homework for you (yet again): http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2008/09/update-fannie-mae-and-freddie.html.

    None of these guys (and there are some Reps in there) wanted Fannie or Freddie reformed because they were getting too much money from them. Hint! (Now would be a good time to express an opinion).

    Also, please read the article here: (http://ibdeditorial.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=306370789279709). And, at least try to come to terms with some of the facts.

    Lastly, I really like your selective reading of the index. It’s a consistent practice among those who go with gut over intellect. You couldn’t find the information for yourself, but you’re certainly willing to express your opinion after someone has done the work for you.

    Your argument would be made substantially stronger were you to offer up something more than … (there it is, again) opinion.

    Suspend your rather substantial opinion of your opinion long enough to check the facts. Then make your … opinion known.

  21. Really?

    Doesn’t appear the IBD editorial link from my last post went through cleanly.

    And so, in the interest of making it as easy as possible to read, here it is again:

    http://ibdeditorial.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=306370789279709

    Regards …

  22. Carolina Anole

    Will happily get back to you after kid’s homework and my shift. No, don’t read Kos (unless something quite specific), and No, Wiki is not God.

  23. Really?

    Right. As you’re the only one in the nation who has a child and a job. Let’s be thankful for both, shall we?

    Regarding Wiki … Since it’s run by libs, and edited mostly by libs, I’d have expected you to cite its content more than I. My mistake.

    As for the content in my prior posts … I’ve made it relatively easy for you to read; links were included. Please consider at your leisure.

    And, do spend time with your child. I have three daughters of my own. They are my greatest achievement.

    Teach yours to be self-sufficient and to rely on the government (at all levels) for nothing save defense. Because anything the government gives can be just as easily taken away, including the healthcare coverage you covet so.

    We have a nation full of folks asking for rights, privileges, and entitlements, but few who are willing to accept their responsibilities. I believe John Kennedy put it best when he said in his inaugural address: “Ask not what your country can do for you-ask what you can do for your country.”

    In spite of our political differences, I pray God blesses you and your family.

  24. Red

    Really, I noticed you could not answer my question. Where do we see the resilient and growing economy you speak of in our society today? Housing prices in my area have dropped 20%. Oil prices have nearly tripled since 2000; I know my wages haven’t tripled since then. Prices of basic commodities have risen dramatically. All my favorite restaurants have come out with new menus (hefty price increases) within the past 3 months. So where is this growing and resilient economy you speak of?

    You seem to know a lot about economics. Could you explain what an injection of liquidity into the financial market is and what the historical precedent is for such a move? Is this the sign of a fundamentally strong economy, when you have to inject trillions of dollars into the financial markets?

    I look forward to reading your response.

  25. Carolina Anole

    Really?-

    No, lots of people have responsibilities, some holding down 2-3 jobs to keep their planets in orbit, as well as kids. Egads! Have I expressed an unsubstantiated claim, or Yikes, an opinion!?! On a blog, yet!

    Now, how do I know the above to be true? Because I’ve done it and I know folks who are doing it right now. Do 2 part-time jobs w/o bennies equal “an employed person”, not “unemployed”? What if the said person is too darn busy shuttling between 2 PT jobs to even look for the 1 FT they may want? If they are not “signed up” how are they to be counted amongst the unemployed? Is this not a fair question?

    And rather unsporting of you to accuse me of “selective reading of the index”- hey, you cited the page, and anything else on it that can reasonably used to bolster my claim (Economy Better Under Clinton, Generally-Speaking) is fair game, Friend! Were you not also applying a selection process here, in truth?

    Oh, I can “find the information” myself- it’s out there! May I cite HuffingtonPost, on the pertinent years of the Misery Index? (As opposed to the “not all that relevant ones”?)

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-tepper-marlin/misery-index-highest-sinc_b_113328.html

    Can I trot out the Dept. Of Labor for the last 8 mos. unemployment rates? Do I seriously have to look up the page on that huge site, or will citing CNN suffice? Please, oh please.

    Freddie/Fannie mess I’ll grant you, as I will readily admit I’m not that well-versed in its intricacies and plot-lines. A tale rife with villains. Unfortunately a number of victims, too.

    Oh, GDP? Really now- how many times have we ALL heard that phrase “The preliminary figures for the Gross Domestic Product for (name the month, any month) have been revised. The actual figures for…” This bunch of malcontents (IMO I am being very kind here) have become most adept at turning sow’s ears into silk purses. Here’s one I’ll cite here- yes, Huffington again but its amusing:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/henry-blodget/gdp-grew-in-q1-only-if-yo_b_99598.html

    On “Billy-Bob”, he got done what a lot of conservatives had wanted for years, and they’ll never forgive him for that. Perhaps some would rather have an “issue” to grouse about, rather than a problem solved? Oh, no, an opinion! Heaven forfend! Pre-Lewinsky I seem to recall a website, “Republicans for Clinton”- they loved him there- some Smith-Barney (‘member them?) employees enlightened me on that one. So sorry, anecdotal in nature!

    Heck, we’d all have loved it if he had gotten OBL, no argument there. His not calling the strike clearly a missed opportunity, but not evil; his reasons as stated understandable. What I don’t get is W. dismantling the Bin Laden unit. May I cite The Guardian?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2006/jul/08/alqaida.usa

    One can only conclude: A) They don’t really care about Bin Laden, B) He’s dead, they know it, but they want to wave that Bogeyman around come Election Time (other than Sarah Palin, what else have they got?), or C) They know right where he is and they’ll reel him in in October- and keep the WH for 4 more thrilling years! Please note, I do not subscribe to either A or C, but I’d put some OT pay on B! Do you have a notion on that one- I’d truly love to have it.

    Lastly, and forgive my length, but you asked for it… You reference in your earlier post the Luskin article from last Sunday. A lifetime ago, news-wise, given the rest of the week. Well, here’s another opinion, more current, also from the Post:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/18/AR2008091803638.html?hpid=topnews

    Please, lets not get into why we are currently “funding a two-front war”- Life is short! There are so many Iraqi War Vets blogs out there…

    Yes, I’ve read my Emerson. But please keep in mind that in this “Class War” the Right always likes to accuse the Left of waging, from where I stand at this present time, the Right has got all the weapons. May I cite Trump endorsing McCain (Larry King Show)? I stand by my basic premise. God bless us all.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-tepper-marlin/misery-index-highest-sinc_b_113328.html

  26. nickgtv

    Once again its bad oversight AND insider cronyism that has been endemic in this administration!

    This is why the SEC chairmain MIA?

    ——————-

    “Satow interviews the above quoted former SEC director, and he spits out the blunt truth: The current excess leverage now unwinding was the result of a purposeful SEC exemption given to five firms.

    You read that right — the events of the past year are not a mere accident, but are the results of a conscious and willful SEC decision to allow these firms to legally violate existing net capital rules that, in the past 30 years, had limited broker dealers debt-to-net capital ratio to 12-to-1.

    Instead, the 2004 exemption — given only to 5 firms — allowed them to lever up 30 and even 40 to 1.

    Who were the five that received this special exemption? You won’t be surprised to learn that they were Goldman, Merrill, Lehman, Bear Stearns, and Morgan Stanley.

    As Mr. Pickard points out that “The proof is in the pudding — three of the five broker-dealers have blown up.”

    ——————-

    http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/2008/09/regulatory-exem.html

    http://www.nysun.com/business/ex-sec-official-blames-agency-for-blow-up/86130/

  27. Really wrote:

    Teach yours to be self-sufficient and to rely on the government (at all levels) for nothing save defense. Because anything the government gives can be just as easily taken away, including the healthcare coverage you covet so.

    Begs the question, taken away by whom? Liberals? I don’t think so.

    And when you raise your children by this philosophy, they will naturally seek to deny others the protections they have eschewed. And they will consider it fairness itself.

    I got mine. You got yours? No? Well, God bless you. Because I’m keeping mine.

  28. cynamen

    I could not agree more…and it is time for many to take off the GOP blinders. We have been blind-sided for far too long ~ and the blind cannot lead the blind.

    Cast your vote for the visionary who promotes REAL change…

    As an aside, I’ll be in prayer for you and your father… and may God truly bless and restore this nation.

  29. Steve

    Completely agree the Republican party has left me. McCain is getting killed in the polls now. I think Republicans should sink him and put up a better pick in 4 years. So I’ll vote for Obama this time but I hope to vote Republican in 4 yrs for Ron Paul.

  30. Red

    I voted for Ron Paul in the Primary. I would happily do so again if he were to run in 4 years.

  31. Steve

    Red let’s get this going. Let’s get everyone that supported Ron Paul to elect Obama and then Nominate Ron Paul in 4 yrs.

  32. wendelljackson

    I could support that.

  33. miniman

    oh god! the site has been taken by the Paultards!!!
    Is no one safe!?

  34. Steve

    I’m all for it. Elect Obama today for Ron Paul tomorrow (Tomorrow = 4 years)

  35. I’m rather amazed at the conceit that one bad apple spoils the whole bunch, or that single-handedly Sarah Palin can make or break the Republican Party.

    It seems to me a very simple exercise to make a distinction between what’s good for a campaign, what’s good for the party and what’s good for the country. People who expect the second coming of Dick Cheney have been watching too much television.

    I would add further that this week a number of my fellow Republicans have begun to hang their heads over Palins inability to impress anyone with her foreign policy chops. I wonder if that means that Condi Rice is also leaving the party? Wait.

    Wait. Is it? Could it? Might it be possible that there are actually other Americans in the Republican party that have more specific responsibilities?

    Do you mean that then ENTIRE GOVERNMENT isn’t going to be run by two people?

    Oh gee. I never thought of that before…

  36. This should ease your jangled nerves…

  37. cynamen

    Cobb said:

    Do you mean that then ENTIRE GOVERNMENT isn’t going to be run by two people?
    ———————————-

    At this point, just to have ANYBODY (other than Bushites) running the country would indeed be a refreshing change, for it will take much innovation to dig out of the man made ditch that gets increasingly deeper with each passing day…for you see (my friends), middle-America has been dealing with these issues for quite some time now.

    Time for a reality check…especially when it hits “your” pocketbook. Now, shall we scurry back to the Hill…to see what finally comes out of the 2.5 page RESCUE Bill?

  38. I discovered your blog today, and have read a few of your recent posts, as well as a couple of early ones. Your journey is fascinating.

    I think it’s pretty impressive that you’ve been willing to continue to write about your thoughts and impressions of the McCain/Palin campaign, even as your enthusiasm for it has cooled.

    It sounds like you’re going through a tough time right now – I do hope things work out for your family and especially your dad. In the meantime, please keep on writing when you can – and know that there will be a warm welcome from those of us on the “other” side, should you decide to step across the divide and join us.

    Good luck to you Wendell. You certainly won’t be the only old-fashioned Republican to have made the move this year.

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