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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

A Conservative View on Sarah Palin

Category: Sarah Palin
Posted: 09/26/08 15:34

by Dave Mindeman

After the Katie Couric interview with Sarah Palin, even some conservatives are having doubts.

Kathleen Parker for the National Review put it this way:

Palin?s recent interviews with Charles Gibson, Sean Hannity, and now Katie Couric have all revealed an attractive, earnest, confident candidate. Who Is Clearly Out Of Her League.

No one hates saying that more than I do. Like so many women, I?ve been pulling for Palin, wishing her the best, hoping she will perform brilliantly. I?ve also noticed that I watch her interviews with the held breath of an anxious parent, my finger poised over the mute button in case it gets too painful. Unfortunately, it often does. My cringe reflex is exhausted.

...Palin filibusters. She repeats words, filling space with deadwood. Cut the verbiage and there?s not much content there. Here?s but one example of many from her interview with Hannity: ?Well, there is a danger in allowing some obsessive partisanship to get into the issue that we?re talking about today. And that?s something that John McCain, too, his track record, proving that he can work both sides of the aisle, he can surpass the partisanship that must be surpassed to deal with an issue like this.?

...If BS were currency, Palin could bail out Wall Street herself.

....Only Palin can save McCain, her party, and the country she loves. She can bow out for personal reasons, perhaps because she wants to spend more time with her newborn. No one would criticize a mother who puts her family first.

Do it for your country.


That's not coming from me or any liberal blog or any Democratic source. That comes from a conservative columnist dealing with reality.

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House Republicans Playing Risky Game

Category: Economy
Posted: 09/26/08 06:11

by Dave Mindeman

We are now entering dangerous economic territory. The bailout plan was bad enough, but it is becoming clearer that the "do nothing scenario" is as bad as they were saying.

Washington Mutual just disappeared as the FDIC sold the assets to JP Morgan. What is unnerving is that if the FDIC had not found an immediate buyer, the WaMu insured deposits could have bankrupted the government insurer. Yes, it is getting that bad.

The House Republicans are playing with fire here. John Kline is involved with this group and they are playing a very dangerous game. They want to force Wall Street to pony up with insurance payments to pay for additional government insurance on Mortgage backed securities. But it doesn't look like anyone has thought this through very far.

Justin Fox, an economist with Time Magazine made a few observations about the plan:

(Rep.)Cantor's plan wouldn't be a markedly better deal for taxpayers than Paulson's. As the insurer of all mortgages, the government would still be stuck with hundreds of billions in losses. That would be partially recouped by premiums, but not fully. And this strikes me as significantly more complicated to administer than Paulson's bailout fund. As part of the July housing bill, the FHA is already supposed to start offering next week to guarantee up to $300 billion in renegotiated subprime mortgages, and I doubt it's really ready to do that yet.

The problem with all of this seems to focus on the issue that no one seems to be able to value these "toxic" securities. They were bundled up and moved through the financial system at grossly inflated values until they found themselves sitting in the banks with nowhere else to go.

If you insure them as the House Republicans are proposing, then at what value do you insure them? No one seems to know and that is why the credit markets are freezing up -- they do not know what value they own.

At least with Paulson's plan, these securities are gathered up in one place (unfortunately, its the Federal Government), but at least in this plan, some value is placed on them -- the banks can get back to business...and, at least in theory, the government can begin the process of recouping their investment by eventually finding a market for these financial instruments.

The Cantor Plan gives us no real advantage to the taxpayer and will add the additional burden of slowing the credit market recovery.

The hotheads in the House GOP caucus are so afraid of government intervention that they are willing to risk real financial meltdown.

Watch the markets go into freefall today. Get out your nausea pills, we are in for a bumpy ride.
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Mack, Wardlow, and Johnson: The Voters Were Requesting Your Time

Category: Minnesota Politics
Posted: 09/25/08 05:30

by Dave Mindeman

Let's see....John McCain has to suspend his campaign to run back to Washington to rubber stamp the bailout.

And on the local front.... the no shows continue for debate forums.

Tara Mack (District 37A- Apple Valley/Burnsville):

She said she was busy door-knocking in apartment buildings and senior living centers Tuesday and had to pick and choose her forums carefully.

Lynn Wardlow (District 38B -- Eagan)

Wardlow said he is eager for the next public gathering, but he was busy Tuesday at a previously scheduled fundraiser.

Todd Johnson (District 40A -- Burnsville)

"We had told them a month ago we weren't going to be there," Johnson said. "We don't no-show."

Now if you are asking, "Who is Tara Mack and Todd Johnson?", you probably would not be alone. That's because these legislative candidates are "too busy" to appear at public forums. Too booked up to exchange views on the issues. Too much multi-tasking to answer the questions of the public.

Really?

Ms. Mack. Question. Would you like to explain what forums meet your "pick and choose" criteria? Maybe you will show up for the Chamber of Commerce? Probably. But affordable housing doesn't make the cut? Guess we can make an educated guess on your priorities.

Lynn Wardlow. Question. Your eagerness is exemplary, but since when does fundraising become a priority over questions form your constituents? House parties can't be changed?

Mr. Johnson. Question. If you don't show up, does that not, by definition, mean you are a "no-show"?

In the suburban districts, the general public shouldn't have to beg its candidates for information. We don't get the big media buys. Our local weekly paper spends more time wrapping fish than getting read. And local radio stations don't exist.

We have to depend on forums. Sponsorships from a variety of groups. Some of them have a particular point of view, but all of them are open to the public...you know...the voters.

Oh, by the way. The MICAH forum invited 13 local candidates to attend. To their credit, 10 of them did attend representing all parties. Only 3 did not.

So, Tara Mack, Lynn Wardlow, and Todd Johnson -- I assume those doorknocks, fundraisers, and family gatherings were worth your time.

You do realize that the voters were requesting that time, too.


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