Wednesday, September 24, 2008


This and that about the national news!
by Charlie Leck

Privatizing Social Security
Anyone notice how this issue is dead? Bush pushed hard for it eight years ago and again four years ago. It was going to be the way the masses could really make money. Can you imagine the condition of the social security system and retirement funds if we had gone down that bumpy road?

Bailing out corporate failure
Fred, from Colorado, writes that he’s decided against:
“NO BAIL OUT... i want a buy out...let the feds buy equity interest in ailing banks and lenders that hold bad mortgages or derivitives... that gives them cash to loan, keeps them in business and gives them time to sell bad investments... years if necessary... they should have more skill to sell them than the feds, and doesn't reward them for stupidity and greed...let them WORK their way out of this mess. there, now i feel better! F”
Corporate Welfare
I call it corporate welfare, of course – this notion of putting up hundreds of billions of dollars to keep corporations afloat. Just let the rich bastards complain about welfare services again for people in need! Then, remind them.

Want to really understand this mess?
I keep telling you. Democracy Now, with Amy Goodman, is one of the best places you'll ever visit on the Internet. Take a look at this broadcast with Juan Gonzalez if you really want to understand this mess we're in. This particular broadcast features the independent Senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, along with Dean Baker, a co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, and Robert Scheer, a journalist with the San Francisco Chronicle. It's good stuff.

Political Fear
The politicians are all running frightened right now! They really haven’t got the slightest idea what to do with this financial crisis from a political point of view. Damned if they do and damned if they don’t – and they’ve got to get back to their home states so they can campaign. Damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Life as a politician is no fun. I do have some sympathy for them and I’m glad someone will do it. Though we often start to think they’re rotten, when people like Senator Stevens from Alaska pops up [see story in Monday's NY Times], most of these legislators are good people who really are committed to serving their constituents.

The polls appear to be very close between Obama and McCain. Obama loses really big in rural areas and wins in urban areas. Suburbs are interesting. Obama is doing better than one would expect. There is a bit of an uprising by educated, suburban women. The Obama supporters also claim to have a secret weapon they’ll unleash on election day – a whole nation of young people who are not wired into the system and aren’t reached by conventional polls. The campaign organization may be correct. Is there a vast army of first time voters who are fed up with George W. Bush and his uncle, John McCain?

The Debate
The confrontation between Obama and McCain is at hand. It will be interesting. Just watch how tough John McCain will be. He will be nasty tough. The only way he can get elected is to paint Obama as a radical and a dreamer. He’ll do nasty things to accomplish that. The key will be in how Obama handles the attack. My bet is that the Obama organization is preparing him to handle a lot of sleaze. After the first debate, the polls will start to mean something.

Keep your eye on this story
This could end up being a big story because, if true, it contradicts something John McCain recently said about one of his campaign aids. This is breaking news -- only broke last night!

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