Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Barack's happy then sad





"When I was 9 years-old the Weather Underground, the terrorist group founded by Barack Obama's friend William Ayers, firebombed my house. Barack Obama has dismissed concerns about his relationship with Ayers by noting that he was only a child when Ayers was planting bombs at the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol. But Ayers has never apologized for his crimes, he has reveled in them, expressing regret only for the fact that he didn't do more.
"While Barack Obama once downplayed his relationship with Ayers, today his campaign took that deceit one step further. Barack Obama now denies he was even aware of his friend's violent past when, in 1995, Ayers hosted a party launching Obama's political career. Given Ayers' celebrity status among the left, it's difficult to believe. The question remains: what did Obama know, and when did he know it? When did Obama learn the truth about his friend? Barack Obama helped Ayers promote his book in 1997, served on charitable boards with him through 2002, and regularly exchanged emails and phone calls with him through 2005. At what point did Barack Obama discover that his friend was an unrepentant terrorist? And if he is so repulsed by the acts of terror committed by William Ayers, why did the relationship continue? Any honest accounting by Barack Obama will necessarily cast further doubt on his judgment and his fitness to serve as commander in chief.
"Barack Obama may have been a child when William Ayers was plotting attacks against U.S. targets -- but I was one of those targets. Barack Obama's friend tried to kill my family."

Deliah Boyd (A Scriverner's Lament) calls out Obama mouthpiece David Axelrod's claim that Barack was just too wet behind the ears to have ever known anything about the Weather Underground: "But Dear Axelrod, I'm suggeting, nay, stating a damned fact -- that Obama's undergrad Poli Sci classes (at freakin' Columbia University, fer cryin' out loud) surely didn't skip the 1960's." Drew Griffin and Kathleen Jonston (CNN) reported last night that "the relationship between Obama and Ayers went deeper, ran longer and was more political than Obama -- and his surrogates -- have revealed, documents and interviews show." Ruth observes, "At this point, the relationship with Mr. Ayers is not even the issue. The issue is how Barack Obama has lied about it repeatedly. Just like he lied about his relationship with Antoin Rezco, he has lied about his relationship with Mr. Ayers."

Cynthia McKinney is the Green Party presidential candidate and, in a new column at Black Agenda Report, she takes on the bailout:

At the precise moment when we couldn't imagine it getting worse, it does. After all, the Democrats, since they acquired majority status in the Congress, delivered funding for George Bush's wars several times. They authorized retroactive immunity for telecoms that helped Bush's Administration illegally spy on us. And they never really considered any alternatives to the basic bailout wish list given to them by Bush and his Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson.
Sadly, I must say that this failure on the part of the Democratic leadership is by far the greatest perfidy of the Democrats yet. I shudder to think what betrayal of the Constitution and the people of this country yet awaits us. I am forced to ask, "What do they stand for?"
I think they have shown us time and time again what they stand for, what their values are, and that they are willing to leave the people behind in their quest to acquiesce to what Bush's base asks for. And remember, Bush told us that his base were the haves and the have mores! So, if the Democratic leadership is more loyal to them than they are to the working people in this country, then a new political alignment of historical proportions is taking effect that the working people of this country must recognize.

Reporter Chris Hedges (via Information Clearing House) examines the bailout and notes, "The passing of the $850-billion bailout pulled the plug on the New Deal. The Great Society is now gasping for air, mortally wounded, coughing up blood. It will not recover. It was murdered by the Democratic Party. We are on our own. And don't expect any help from Barack Obama and Joe Biden, who lobbied hard for the bill and voted for it. Ignore their rhetoric. Look coldly at the ballots they cast against us. We, as citizens, have only a handful of representatives left in Washington, most of whom were left sputtering in rage and frustration on the House floor. The sad irony is that some of them were Republican." Hedges goes on to explore the vote and the bailout and to quote US House Rep Dennis Kuccinich explaining of the vote, "It is a direct attack on the American people's ability to be able to stabilize their homes and their neighborhoods. This single vote will define the careers of everyone. We are back to taxation without representation to markets that are openly rigged. We buried the New Deal. Instead of Democrats going back to classic New Deal economics where we prime the pump of the economy and start money circulating among the population through saving homes, creating jobs and building a new infrastructure, our leaders chose to accelerate the wealth of the nation upwards." Hedges juxtaposes Barack's support for the bailout with Barack's voting record and it's a must read article. Last week, Kucinich declared on Democracy Now!, "You know, I'll tell you something that we were told in our caucus. We were told that our presidential candidate, when the negotiations started at the White House, said that he didn't want this in the bill. Now that's what we're told. . . . That he didn't want the bankruptcy provisions in the bill. Now, you know, that's what we were told. And I don't understand why he would say that, if he did say that. And I think that there is a -- the fact that we didn't put bankrptcy provisions in, that actually we removed any hopes for judges to do any loan modifications or any forbearance. There's no moratorium on mortgage foreclosures in here. So, who's getting -- who's really getting helped by this bill? This is a bailout, pure and simple, of Wall Street interests who have been involved in speculation."

You need to remember for that for a number of reasons. The most current has to do with last night's Democratic and Republican presidential candidate debate during which John McCain declared, "As president of the United States, Alan, I would order the secretary of the treasury to immediately buy up the bad home loan mortgages in America and renegotiate at the new value of those homes -- at the diminished value of those homes and let people be able to make those -- be able to make those payments and stay in their homes. Is it expensive? Yes. But we all know, my friends, until we stabilize home values in America, we're never going to start turning around and creating jobs and fixing our economy. And we've got to give some trust and confidence back to America." Katharine Q. Seelye (New York Times) live blogged the debate and noted McCain's proposal was "not somethng that had been proposed. Nor is it clear without further detail how or whether this would work" citing the paper's Jackie Calmes (citing Barack's campaign)? Robert G. Kaiser (Washington Post) doing a post-debate critique noted, "I was taken aback by McCain's opening proposal, which if I understand it correctly would have a huge impact on the housing market, the banks, the holders of securitized mortgages, etc." The proposal was a proposal. Michael Abramowitz (Washington Post) reports that Doug Holtz-Eakin, the campaign's policy advisor, on a morning press conference call, "offered a few more details of the so-called American Homeownership Resurgence Plan, unveiled at the Tuesday night debate, in which a homeowner having difficulty making payments or facing foreclosure would be eligible for an FHA-insured mortgage. He said that some of the money for the new program, which could cost $300 billion, could come from the new $700 billion authority granted the Treasury Secretary to buy distressed assets; he also said some of the funds could also come from existing authority in the Federal Housing Administration." Abramowitz also notes that the Obama campaign is attempting to downplay the proposal by stating Barack was floating something like that publicly back in September. A shame he didn't fight to have it put in the bill -- especially considering he is the party's 'leader' and the Democrats control both houses of Congress. But can't tick off his biggest donors on Wall St. apparently. Alison Fitzgerald and Sharon L. Lynch (Bloomberg News) report Barack's whining the bailout that passed allows this to take place already and quote Holtz-Eakin stating, "It could help literally millions of people. We don't have a precise estimate." The McCain-Palin campaign has posted the text (and audio option) of Doug Hotlz-Eakin's comments:

"Senator McCain last night announced his initiative, the McCain Resurgence Plan, that has four very straightforward goals. Goal number one is to provide direct help to struggling homeowners making sure they can stay in their homes with a manageable mortgage, avoid foreclosures and the damaging impact that has on neighborhoods and property values in that area. It would also, in the process of refinancing, help them with their financial situation and, as a result, give some stability to the household spending in the overall economy.
"Second thing is it would provide, to the mortgage market, lower interest rates. If history was a guide, we'd see a spread of about 160 basis points above government interest rates to the mortgage market. That would put interest rates in the low five percent. Mortgage rates are above that right now. Providing this kind of financing would stabilize housing values and obviously take some stress off the pressures downward in the economy. Having a stabilized housing market would, in turn, combine with the purchase of these mortgages to stabilize the values that are underneath mortgage-backed securities and all the housing-related derivatives that have been plaguing the valuation of balance sheets in the financial sector. And so by starting with the homeowner and working up you accomplish some of the objectives of the financial stabilization plans that we've seen come out of Congress and proposed by the administration in recent weeks. Senator McCain beli eves this is exactly the right kind of policy: provide direct help to homeowners and, at the same time, support the financial markets and keep them from further damaging the availability of credit to Main Street America, one of the real threats to the economy at this point it time.
"The initiative would rely on authorities that have been provided in recent months by the Congress. There's $300 billion worth of refinance capacity at the FHA at this point. That can be combined with the statutory capacity at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which are now owned by the federal government for all practical purposes, to purchase mortgages. If Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac bought 80% of the mortgage, you could leverage that $300 billion in financing tremendously. And there's also the $700 billion that was provided to the Treasury by the Congress. There's direct purchase authority in there that would allow to augment these as well, although, it may be useful to reserve that for other purposes.
"Mechanically the initiative is very simple. A homeowner would initiate the process by calling a mortgage broker or other originator and basically saying 'I'd like to refinance my home.' They would start the underwriting process, verify incomes, this is an opportunity as well to make sure the program has in it appropriate checks to make sure that government money is not being given to folks who are not primary homeowners, who don't have adequate income, or otherwise, in the initial purchase of their home didn't provide valid information. These authorities could then be used to retire the existing loan. The FHA would issue a guaranteed thirty year fixed-rate mortgage at a manageable interest rate. The homeowner would stay in the home, their financial burden would be relieved, the valuation of the existing loan would be resolved, there would no longer be a threat of default or diminished capacity to repay. That would stabilize financial markets, and t he taxpayers' contribution would be, in some cases the difference between the values of those two loans, something which would be the necessity for taxpayer contribution.
"Senator McCain thinks this is the best way to go forward. He's obviously been personally very concerned about the problems facing the economy. He has participated, as I think everyone on this call knows, extensively in the process of taking the initial proposal by the administration to directly purchase Wall Street securities shaping it in a way that it was both possible to get it through Congress in a bi-partisan fashion, and also had it augmented with the adequate taxpayer protections, some oversight and transparency. This would take the authorities that have now come through and further target them in a way that he thinks would accomplish the purposes of financial stabilization but also to provide some relief to homeowners, near-term stimulus to the overall economy, and lay out a path where he can then turn to his initiatives in taxes, in energy, healthcare, trade to provide job creation in the American economy and a path forward out of this ter rible crisis."

Tomorrow, Senator John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin will hold a town hall at noon in Waukesha, Wisconsin (Center Court Sports Complex, 815 Northview Boulevard) and the proposal will be addressed there. Foon Rhee (Boston Globe, link has text and video) reports that he raised the issue at a campaign stop in Bethlem, Pennsylvania. Jonathan Newman, Matthew Jaffe and Stu Chamberlain (ABC News' Political Radar, text and video) report Democratic vice-presidential nominee, US Senator Joe Biden, was introduced at a Tampa campaign event today by Jim Pacillo who stated, "Please help me today in welcoming the next vice president of the United States, John McCain!" Also McCain-Palin announce the endorsement of 100 US ambassadors from a group co-chaired by Mark W. Erwin who was supporting Hillary in the primaries (and, disclosue, I know and like Mark and that's probably why I'm putting it in the snapshot). Other endorsements today include the majority of board members on the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce with Jerry Natividad explaining, "I am supporting John McCain because he understands that small businesses are the job engine of America, and he has a real plan for the issues that Hispanic-owned small businesses confront, such as health care. John McCain's plan puts families first, provides them with more choices, and while it cut costs for my business, it allows my company to afford the best medical coverage for my employees." Maria G. Taxman is quoted explaining, "I am very confident John McCain will continue to break down foreign trade barriers, giving Hispanic-American-owned small businesses the opportunity to compete in the global markets. John McCain will promote a strong and growing economy that creates new jobs and increases wages."

News Advisory
Contact: Ryan Mehta, 408-348-0681, (National HQ); Josh Starcher, 718-909-6343 (Local)


WHO: Ralph Nader

WHAT: Major Campaign Address

WHEN: Thursday, October 16 at 12:00pm

WHERE: Federal Hall, 26 Wall St. NYC

On Thursday, October 16 at 12:00pm, Ralph will take to the street in front of the NYSE to protest the bailout at Federal Hall, 26 Wall St. NYC.

Ralph is the only Presidential candidate who supports jail time, not bail time for Wall Street fat cats, so come hear him speak in the historic Cooper Union after watching the game show debates on TV.

He will also comment on the Presidential debates from which he was excluded. In another part of the city, after Ralph speaks in Cooper Union, the two corporate candidates will be debating each other without even mentioning the issues that Ralph will talk about and that matter to the American people. Since 1988, the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) has sponsored every presidential debate and kept the discussion empty. Since its inception, the CPD has always been headed by two former chairs of the Democratic and Republican parties. In 1987, the League of Women Voters refused to sponsor any more presidential debates, ìbecause the demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter.

Back to the debate. Susan (Random Thoughts) analyzes the debate and will note this section on Barack, "Obama was absolutely incoherent. He would start strong, but then he would wander off on some tangent and constantly ran overtime with his answers. This is going to kill him when people realize he doesn't really know what he is talking about. It was the same problem John Kerry had, but Kerry learned to keep his answers short in the debates with our dictator in 2004."

Rebecca noted that Barack declared war on Social Security, Elaine noted Barack's rush for more war, Mike found the debate a waste of time, Cedric & Wally (joint-post) noted how Barack got his way, Marcia skipped it and noted the crony ways of Barack in Chicago, and Kat explored the liars and cover-up artists in the press

Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney's running mate is Rosa Clemente who has a series of campaign stops coming up including the following:

Rosa Clemente in New York October 9-11
Tuesday, 07 October 2008 23:01

from Rosa Clemente

Peace and Hello to all my New York City People:

As the billionaires on wall street get bailed out, and more and more people are tired of a two party stranglehold, join me, as I celebrate my electoral independence, I am in town, for three exciting days of campaign activities, attending a press conference for assistance and solidarity for Haiti, marching for the freedom of Politcal Prisoners and Prisoner of War, as well as these media appearances, hope to see you! "The Green Party is not the alternative, it is the imperative!" Rosa A. Clemente, Green Party Vice-Presidential Candidate

GritTV, with Laura Flanders, to air Wednesday October 8th, 2008, at 8:00pm & 1:00am ET, on Free Speech TV(DISH Network ch. 9415)
Where we Live, with Sally O'Brien Thursday October 9th, 2008 at 8:00pm on WBAI 99.5FM,
The Truth, with Jeff Johnson on to air on BET Friday October 10th, 2008 at 10:00pm (EST)

WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 9th, 2008 @ 7pm-10pm


You are invited to the home of Gloria Mattera & Sean Sweeney and host M1 of dead prez
for light fare, drinks and lively discussion with special guest:

Rosa Clemente is a nationally known hip-hop activist, independent journalist, community organizer and Green Party vice presidential candidate. She helped organize the National Hip-Hop Political Convention in 2003, to create a national political agenda for the hip-hop generation.

Let's help Rosa and Cynthia raise the funds needed to get their message of peace and justice out to voters throughout the country!
Campaign Merchandise will be on hand!

Location: 437 2 Street between 6/7 Avenues in Park Slope Brooklyn
F train to 7 Ave; Q/B to 7 Ave (at Flatbush); R train to Union St
RSVP: gmattera@gmail.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 718 369-2998

THURSDAY OCTOBER 9th, 2008 @ 3:30pm

Open Community Forum with Green Party Vice Presidential Nominee ROSA CLEMENTE,
to be televised on Manhattan Public Access

@ MNN Television Studios
Manhattan Neighborhood Network
537 West 59th Street,
New York, NY 10019
(between 10th and 11th Avenues)

Green Party VP Candidate -
Discusses the Economy, Foreign Policy, Education, Gender Equity, Racism, Social Justice, & the Environment

Featuring Community Organizations:
-Grassroots Artists MovEment (G.A.ME)
-UHURU Movement
-Brenda Stokely from NY Solidarity Coalition With Katrina / Rita Survivors
- La Peña del Bronx

-Hasan Salaam
-Video Screening of Final Outlaw's"HIP HOP 4Ever"


Please Contact: (917) 940-8961 or (917) 239-8992 with Questions or to RSVP for this event

ABOUT G.A.ME - The Grassroots Artists Movement (G.A.ME) is a membership organization dedicated to addressing sociopolitical and economic realities facing low-income Black and Latino communities. Galvanizing the influence of hip-hop artists and culture, G.A.ME unites artists and community members to work side-by-side for social justice. G.A.ME runs youth leadership and community development programs that provide tools for positive change.

Ralph Nader is on TV tonight!
Ralph will be on CNN's Late Edition with Wolf Blizter at about 5 p.m. EST this afternoon.
And he'll be on Fox's The O'Reilly Factor with Bill O'Reilly at about 8:25 p.m. EST tonight.
Hope you get a chance to watch.
And remember, this week we're offering a limited number of Ralph's most recent book -- The Seventeen Traditions. (HarperCollins, 2007).
It's a 150-page hard cover classic -- detailing the traditions Ralph grew up with in his home town of Winsted, Connecticut.
For a donation of $100 or more, we'll ship you this Nader classic -- signed by the man himself -- Ralph Nader.
(This offer ends Sunday October 12, 2008 at 11:59 p.m.)
By the way, the Nader/Gonzalez video team was with Ralph in Winsted, Connecticut last week.
Take a look.
Pass it around.
Thank you for your ongoing support.
Onward to November

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