Leslie Jones McCloud's feed

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Senate to vote on rescue plan Wednesday

The "bailout" (yes, bailout is in the title, not federal intervention) package adds new provisions - including raising the FDIC insurance cap. Democratic sources told CNN that they expect bipartisan support. The Senate plans to vote on the $700 billion bank rescue plan Wednesday evening - two days after the House failed to pass it.The bill adds new provisions - including raising the FDIC insurance cap from $100,000 to $250,000

read more | digg story

Can the African-American community put Barack Obama over the top?

Michelle Obama during an interview Tuesday on the Michael Baisden Show, said an increase of 2.5 percentage points could win Barack Obama the election.
She asked everyone to ask people they know if they are registered to vote--mom, dad, uncle and cousin.
Realizing it is sometimes harder to motivate your own family, Michelle asked us to think of ourselves as a community and not as an individual. She said don't let small differences hold us back.
VoteforChange.com is an excellent way to find out if you are still registered to vote, how to vote early--which is promoted by the Obama campaign--and register or re-register to vote in your state, to put Barack over the top.
It is my suggestion that anyone who cares should take this and subsequent weekends, to volunteer at their local Barack Obama for President campaign office. It's not so bad! You meet new people and have a reason to walk around and talk to people in your community. You'll be surprised at what you learn and you'll be helping Barack win the election.
Let's turn Red states Blue, turn Blue states Bluer. Vote for Barack, vote for Change.

Nose cutting, face spiting, foot shooting: Obama's way is better

Imadeamesss.com-The House's failure to pass a $700 billion financial intervention bill Monday not only held back billions for Wall Street, but also was a major blow to Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign, according to a report by CNN.com.

It said McCain raised the stakes for himself when he suspended his campaign and raced off to Capital Hill with the bill ultimately failing--effectively shooting himself in the foot twice.
Equally as unhelpful is the idea that Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D-San Fransisco) is to be blamed.
Seriously?
As pointed out by Presidential Candidate Barack Obama--who is seen as a stabilizing force voters can depend on during the turbulence created by the economy and McCain--Washington politics as usually is more likely the culprit.

Excerpts from Obama's campaign speech Tuesday in Nevada points out more of the truth.

"Over one trillion dollars of wealth was lost by the time the markets closed on Monday. And it was not just the wealth of a few CEOs or Wall Street executives. The 401Ks and retirement accounts that millions count on for their family’s future are now smaller. The state pension funds of teachers and government employees lost billions upon billions of dollars. Hardworking Americans who invested their nest egg to watch it grow are now watching it disappear.

But while the decline of the stock market is devastating, the consequences of the credit crisis that caused it will be even worse if we do not act and act immediately.

Because of the housing crisis, we are now in a very dangerous situation where financial institutions across this country are afraid to lend money. If all that meant was the failure of a few big banks on Wall Street, it would be one thing.

But that’s not what it means. What it means is that if we do not act, it will be harder for you to get a mortgage for your home or the loans you need to buy a car or send your children to college. What it means is that businesses won’t be able to get the loans they need to open new factories, or hire more workers, or make payroll for the workers they have. What it means is that thousands of businesses could close. Millions of jobs could be lost. A long and painful recession could follow.

Let me be perfectly clear. The fact that we are in this mess is an outrage. It’s an outrage because we did not get here by accident. This was not a normal part of the business cycle. This was not the actions of a few bad apples.

This financial crisis is a direct result of the greed and irresponsibility that has dominated Washington and Wall Street for years. It’s the result of speculators who gamed the system, regulators who looked the other way, and lobbyists who bought their way into our government. It’s the result of an economic philosophy that says we should give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else; a philosophy that views even the most common-sense regulations as unwise and unnecessary. And this economic catastrophe is the final verdict on this failed philosophy – a philosophy that we cannot afford to continue."

Obama spoke to a crowd at University of Nevada, Reno laying out a point-by point plan on how he'd shore up America's economy and how House Resolution 3997 can help.

"All of us have a responsibility to solve this crisis. We'll punish the arsonist later but put the fire out for now," he said.
He was speaking to students at University of Nevada, Reno reminding them that what is done today by lawmakers can affect their future job market. However, intending to alleviate anxiety, he reminded them of America's resilience and recounted the improvements made to the bi-partisan bill, an example of his skills set.

Obama also said any profits from investing in mortgage backed securities will go to the taxpayer and to pay down the national debt. He said a fee structure will be instituted so that another rescue package will not be needed. He also pledged to modernize outdated financial regulations--a point he has been making since March.

"I spend most of my time in Washington being skeptical of this administration. Now is no different," he said.
But in spite of his skepticism, Obama spoke with President Bush Tuesday morning to discuss the economic bailout bill, according to CNN.
The two spoke about the need to push for a package that Congress can agree on.

Obama also raised his proposal to raise the amount of money the government insures in bank accounts from $100,000 to $250,000.
###

Obama proposes lift in FDIC cap to help small businesses

Yesterday, within the course of a few hours, the failure to pass the economic rescue plan in Washington led to the single largest decline of the stock market in two decades.

While I, like others, am outraged that the reign of irresponsibility on Wall Street and in Washington has created the current crisis, I also know that continued inaction in the face of the gathering storm in our financial markets would be catastrophic for our economy and our families.

At this moment, when the jobs, retirement savings, and economic security of all Americans hang in the balance, it is imperative that all of us – Democrats and Republicans alike – come together to meet this crisis.

The bill rejected yesterday was a marked improvement over the original blank check proposed by the Bush Administration. It included restraints on CEO pay, protections for homeowners, strict oversight as to how the money is spent, and an assurance that taxpayers will recover their money once the economy recovers. Given the progress we have made, I believe we are unlikely to succeed if we start from scratch or reopen negotiations about the core elements of the agreement. But in order to pass this plan, we must do more.

One step we could take to potentially broaden support for the legislation and shore up our economy would be to expand federal deposit insurance for families and small businesses across America who have invested their money in our banks.

The majority of American families should rest assured that the deposits they have in our banks are safe. Thanks to measures put in place during the Great Depression, deposits of up to $100,000 are guaranteed by the federal government.

While that guarantee is more than adequate for most families, it is insufficient for many small businesses that maintain bank accounts to meet their payroll, buy their supplies, and invest in expanding and creating jobs. The current insurance limit of $100,000 was set 28 years ago and has not been adjusted for inflation.

That is why today, I am proposing that we also raise the FDIC limit to $250,000 as part of the economic rescue package – a step that would boost small businesses, make our banking system more secure, and help restore public confidence in our financial system.

I will be talking to leaders and members of Congress later today to offer this idea and urge them to act without delay to pass a rescue plan.

Monday, September 29, 2008

OBAMA CAMPAIGN ALERT!

Pay attention Hoosiers (and all interested parties!)
Members of the Obama family will be at the Gary,Indiana Barack Obama for President Campaign Office, 201 E. 5th Ave., October 4, at 10 a.m. to kick-off a canvass effort.
Members of the Obama family will canvass with volunteers as well.
Feel free to bring your camera and please, BE FIRED UP!
LET'S TURN IT BLUE INDIANA!

West
Head east on 12/20 which is 5th Avenue, cross Broadway and look right for the Obama sign. The campaign office is across the street from the Fire Station.
East
Head west on 12/20 you will be on 4th Ave. Turn left at Broadway (where City Hall sits) and turn left at 12/20 (first signal) or 5th Avenue and look to the right for the campaign office sign.

Going back to the drawing table

Congress promised to "go back to the drawing table," as soon as possible to hammer out another deal.
Meanwhile, as of 2 p.m. CT the Dow sunk to -575.93 points.
Barack Obama, speaking from Colorado, said we shouldn't have gotten America into the financial crisis in the first place.
"We meet here at a time of great uncertainty."
Greed, is the cause, he said.
However, businesses need to make payroll.
"Get this done...step up to the plate," he called out to congress but there is no sign of a re-vote. Rosh Shoshana is upon us.
Barack said he would make sure after he is elected, that the American people would get their money back.
There was no immediate word from anyone working for John McCain.
Many blamed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for not listening and not delivering votes. How in the hell can this be the house speaker's fault? She didn't vote for President Bush or anyone in his administration! This mess we are in is the direct fault of the American people who voted twice for President Bush. They must have liked what he was talking about. Do you like it now?Nothing personal, Mr. President but this situation is very scary, and I expected this bill to breeze through the House.
During the olden times in the Wild Wild West, those responsible would be dragged into the public square and hanged--charged with witchcraft, no doubt, but hanged.
But these aren't the olden times. These are new and modern times with a Wild West financial mentality. The only thing being killed is the American Economy and a little bit of our spirit along with it.

Uggh! An "Imperfect bill" does not pass the House vote inspite of 3-hour general debate--Dow sinks 500 points

Imadeamesss.com--U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota) said he has a friend who tried to float a loan for her charter

school to meet payroll as she has done in the past. She could not do so. This action put everyone who

worked at the school in jeopardy of not having a job. These business scenarios are playing out all across America.

These scenarios are a part of the reason a rescue package is needed, some say. However, the wrong vote or the perceived

wrong vote will cost incumbents their seat on the Hill, newscasters said.

Spenser Bachus a Republican from Alabama said he will take the political risk and vote yes for the

legalisation. He received a round of healthy applause. Many other Republicans heard no such applause.
Many republicans are unwilling to sign on to the legislation.

Republican Congresswoman from Colorado, Marilyn Musgrave, said she doesn't want to vote for a

"bailout" for Wall Street.

Sixth district Minnesota Republican from St. Cloud Hugo, Michelle Bachman, said banks are prohibited

from making loans and that is "why we have a credit crisis."
Apparently, some Republicans are concerned about first tier creditors. In absence of fraud they want

FDIC insurance for them.
D-Illinois Rep. Rahm Emauel said during the 3-hour general debate that unregulated banks are the ones

going under. Banks that are regulated are not, he said.
House flipping a problem.
"Our job is not done until we address the recession on Main Street" he said.
They put out the fire he said but, the remaining days will be spent finding out who started the fire

and put the responsible arsonist in jail" he said.
Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, said the legislation will not keep people in their homes. He submitted to

record, expert witness testimony on this issue.
"This bill is about Wall Street."
Republican from Kansas, Rep. Todd Tiahrt said they were being rushed to act under an "artificial

deadline" said fear shouldn't guide decision.
New York Queens Dem. Rep. Gregory Meeks compared the Wall Street financial debacle to a drunk driver

that needs to be rescued.
Markets in the U.S. and world wide had been sliding downwards since their open.

"We have an imperfect product," Ohio Republican, John Boehner said and he doubts it has the votes to

pass. He urged people in the room to think about their friends who will lose jobs and retirees whose

money will dry up.
"This congress has to do its job. No one has come her for this Mud Sandwich. I didn't come here to

vote for bills like this."
He said a vote for the bill will separate boys from men and women from girls.
He urged them to look into their souls. He asked them, on both sides of the isle, to vote for the

imperfect bill. He drew a healthy round of applause.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-San Fransisco) said approving the legislation is a part of the

cost of the Bush failed economic policies. She said the Clinton administration's budget surplus

trajectory was eaten up in two years.
She also said the anything goes mentality is over.
"The party is over in that respect. (The present policies) didn't create jobs or capital but chaos."
She said Ben Bernake is the best known expert on the Great Depression and he said this fiscal crisis

is once in a 100 years.
"It sneaked up on us on little cat feet," she said.
But how?
She said they will continue to work towards that end
She talked about the wide ranging power the original draft held. She said working together in a bi-

partisan way is how they made improvements.
The American people responded almost immediately, she said. The legislation doesn't have bankruptcy

wording and that is disappointing to Pelosi. There is no stimulus package either, she said.

These are the standards they put together:
Fairness for American people
She said we have forbearance on for closure to help responsible homeowners stay int their home
Oversight of government
An end to the golden parachute compensation for CEOs
All of that was met with resistance from the administration, she said.
"This bill contains that, in five years on review of initiatives, if there is a shortfall of the $700

billion financial institutions will make up the shortfall not the taxpayers. The taxpayer will be made

whole," Pelosi said.
Still, she questions why no stimulus package.
"Rebuilding the infrastructure of America is important to people all over the world not just America,"

she said.
The $25-30 billion for energy jobs and infrastructure wasn't a Republican consideration.
Pelosi asked for a bi-partisan vote on it since it was a bi-partisan effort.
She said they must come back to readdress various issues, "so don't get settled in with how things are

now."

High interest rates on high-risk loans are more of the problem with the mortgage crisis. These people

weren't being irresponsible but punished for being poor.
People pay their bills when they have the money to do so. Or they may have been paying their bills on

time until a major illness or a job loss. These stories all over the news.

So were calls to re-finance and pull money out of homes.

Banking committee chairman, Barney Frank (D-MA) pleaded with his fellow congressmen and women not to

throw out House Resolution 3997. Frank closed out the debate with Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland Majority

Leader. He, too urged the House to pass the bill. A simple majority was needed.

It was defeated in the House, 205 for, 228 against.

(These numbers may be off by a vote or two, now--does it matter?)

There was no motion to revote, to my understanding.

Republicans overwhelmingly did not support the bill to the tune of 65 yea and nay 133 with one not

voting.
The Democrats voted the opposite with 140 yea and 95 nay--all of them voting. There are more democrats than republicans in the house, I believe the announcer said.
The Dow had dropped 500 points when I turned to CNBC. Is any member of congress watching the Dow plummet?News pundits were debating who did and did not deliver votes.
I became physically ill.
The votes needed to pass the bill: 218.
Maybe some of the votes will flip. Okay, they did not. I have to use the facilities.
H.R. 7175, an amendment improving the lending program was the next vote.

C-SPAN callers were upset and some were glad. One talked about what her grandma said about the Great Depression--peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold and in the pot nine days old.
"I don't want to eat peas porridge nine days old," she said. A caller said she wouldn't vote for a congressman who did not support the legislation. One woman caller said she was worried about a socialistic taint on our democracy and was against the bill.
She was glad, in her own little world, that businesses won't be able to get loans to make payroll. Hmmmm.

Then they voted on minting some commemorative coins celebrating the military.

I must point out that I used to be a reporter. Also, I now completely understand what Barack Obama means by "clarity in government."

House Resolution 3997

As it stands house republicans have/had a handfull of hold-outs on the signing of this legislation.
I gleened this information from GOP.gov September 29, hoping to find out what exactly is the point or points of contention within the GOP.
bills being considered
H.R. 3997
H.R. 7201
S. 3598
S. 2840
S. 3296
S. 3597
H.R. 7175
S. 3536
S. 431
S. 3606
H.R. 7084
S. 2816
S. 3569
H.R. 6838
H.R. 5571
H.R. 6707
S. 2304
H.Res. 875
H.Res. 1429
H.R. 6460


bill
H.R. 3997 (vote due this afternoon)
Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008

FLOOR SITUATION

H.R. 3997 is expected to be considered on the floor of the House on September 29, 2008.

This legislation is being considered on the floor under a closed rule. The rule:

Ø Provides for consideration of the Senate amendment to the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R. 3997.


Ø Makes in order a motion by the chairman of the Committee on Financial Services or his designee to concur in the Senate amendment to the House amendment with the amendment printed in the report of the Committee on Rules accompanying the resolution.


Ø Waives all points of order against the motion.


Ø Provides that the Senate amendment and the motion shall be considered as read.


Ø Provides three hours of debate on the motion equally divided and controlled by the chairman and ranking member of the Committee on Financial Services.


Ø Provides that during consideration of the motion to concur, notwithstanding the operation of the previous question, the Chair may postpone further consideration of such motion to a time designated by the Speaker.



BACKGROUND

On September 7, 2008, Secretary Henry Paulson announced that the U.S. Treasury in cooperation with the Federal Reserve would be taking over control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac own or guarantee $5.2 trillion of mortgages in the United States. As a secondary mortgage operator, Fannie and Freddie must have enough funds available to pay their investors, which include state and local governments, regional banks, and foreign governments.


Using the authority given to the Treasury when Congress passed the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (H.R. 3221) in July, the Secretary implemented a plan to try to increase stability in the housing and financial markets. The plan allows Treasury to enter into a Senior Preferred Stock Agreement with each of the GSEs, to purchase mortgage backed securities (MBS) from the GSEs on the open market, and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York act as a credit lending facility for the GSEs. The government takeover of Fannie and Freddie Mac was followed shortly thereafter by a government rescue of AIG, in which the U.S. provided a $85 billion loan.


On September 19, 2008, Secretary Paulson, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke, and the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission Christopher Cox announced that further action was needed to stabilize the markets and that they had begun talks for a comprehensive approach to relieving the stress on our nation’s financial institutions and markets. The following day the Administration submitted a $700 billion legislative proposal to Congress that would have given Treasury the authority to purchase distressed assets from these troubled financial institutions.


After days of bicameral, bipartisan negotiations, leaders from both parties reached a tentative agreement on the outline of the bill. The final text was available late in the day on Sunday, September 28, 2008.



SUMMARY

The purpose of this bill is to provide the Secretary of the Treasury with the authority to restore liquidity and stability to the American financial system. Important provisions of this legislation are described below.

Note: This bill does not include several contentious provisions due to successful Republican negotiation. The following items are not included in this legislation:

Ø “Say on pay” proxy access which would give unions a nonbinding shareholder vote on the boards of companies in which the Treasury Department buys a direct stake in assets.

Ø Affordable housing slush fund which would bankroll organizations like the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN)at taxpayer expense.

Ø “Cramdown” provisions allowing bankruptcy judges to reduce mortgage principal, thus fueling a bonanza for trial lawyers.


TITLE I – TROUBLED ASSETS RELIEF PROGRAM (TARP)


Purchase of Troubled Assets: The bill authorizes the creation of a troubled assets relief program within the Department of Treasury to purchase troubled asses from financial institutions. In carrying out this program, the Treasury must consult with the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Comptroller of the Currency, the Office of Thrift Supervision, and the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. The Treasury Secretary is required to establish guidelines and policies to carry out this program. This authority will terminate on December 31, 2009, but may be extended by the Secretary for another year upon certification to Congress.


Insurance of Troubled Assets: The bill requires the Treasury Department to establish an insurance program that guarantees against losses to mortgage-backed securities (MBS) issued or originated prior to March 18, 2008. The bill directs the Treasury to assess risk-based premiums on MBS to finance this insurance. The insurance program will sunset within 2 years.Holders of MBS must pay a premium to have a government guarantee, rather than be bought by Treasury. This plan will directly reduce the $700 billion dollar taxpayer liability. Every dollar used to insure assets reduces the need to spend taxpayer money to purchase MBS.


Financial Stability Oversight Board: The bill establishes the Financial Stability Oversight Board to review the authorities of this Act, make recommendations to the Secretary, and report on fraud to the Inspector General of the Treasury or the Attorney General. The Board will include the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.


Reports: This legislation requires the Secretary to report to Congress on certain issues. These reports include the actions taken by the Secretary under the Act, a detailed financial statement, and a description of all transactions made for every $50 billion in assets purchased. The Secretary also will submit a report to Congress by April 30, 2009, on the current state of the financial markets.


Mark-to-Market: The bill restates the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) authority to suspend mark-to-market accounting regulations. The SEC must conduct a study on mark-to-market accounting standards and report to Congress with findings within 90 days.


Rights and Management: The Secretary may exercise authorities under this Act at any time. The legislation enables the Secretary to manage the assets and requires that profits from the sale of troubled assets to be used to pay down the national debt. The Secretary may determine the terms and conditions of the sale of these assets. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is allowed to manage assets for residential mortgage loans and mortgage-backed securities.


Conflicts of Interest: The Secretary must issue regulations to manage or prohibit conflicts of interest in the administration of the program.


Foreclosures: The Secretary must implement a plan to mitigate foreclosures, and may use loan guarantees and credit enhancement to avoid foreclosures. Federal entities which hold mortgages and mortgage-backed securities must develop plans to minimize foreclosures. Such agencies will also work to encourage loan modifications, considering value to the taxpayer. Loan modifications cannot result in a loss to taxpayers.


Executive Compensation & Corporate Governance: In the event of total government takeovers there will be no “golden parachutes” or severance pay for company executives. For companies whose assets Treasury purchases at auction at a level over $300 million, there is a total ban on golden parachutes and a tax deduction limit on executive compensation above $500,000, for CEO, CFO, and the three next-highest paid officers.


Warrants: Under this provision, Treasury will receive non-voting warrants from companies participating in TARP. The bill establishes a de minimus asset threshold of $100 million for warrants. Warrants are certificates entitling the holder to buy securities at a specific price.


Market Transparency: The Secretary must disclose details of any transaction within two business days.


Graduated Purchase Authorization: This legislation immediately authorizes the Secretary to use up to $250 billion for TARP. An additional $100 billion is available to the Secretary if the President certifies to Congress that is necessary, and a final $350 billion is authorized if the President reports to Congress requesting the additional funding, unless Congress passes a joint resolution of disapproval (which will have fast track consideration). This authority will terminate on December 31, 2009, but may be extended by the Secretary for another year upon certification to Congress.


Oversight and Auditing: The Comptroller General will conduct ongoing review of TARP activities and report to Congress. An annual audit of TARP is required of the Comptroller General.


Judicial Review: The legislation bars injunctive or other forms of equitable relief against the Secretary regarding the purchase or sale of assets, the insurance of assets, and forfeiture mitigation efforts, unless meant to remedy a violation of the Constitution. Except as limited above, this bill provides for judicial review of the Secretary’s final actions and requires the challenger to prove that the Secretary’s actions were arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or not in accordance with the law.


Special Inspector General: The bill creates a Special Inspector General for TARP who must report to Congress quarterly.


Public Debt Statutory Limit: The debt ceiling is raised from $10 trillion to $11.3 trillion.


Congressional Oversight: The bill establishes a Congressional bipartisan oversight commission, with members appointed evenly by the majority and minority. The panel will report to Congress every month on regulatory reform through January 20, 2009.


Recoupment of Funds: The President must submit a proposal to Congress within five years on how to recoup funds from the financial industry for any taxpayer losses.


TITLE II – BUDGET RELATED PROVISIONS


Information for Congressional Support Agencies: The Secretary must make available, upon request of congressional support agencies, all information used in connection with activities authorized by this legislation.


OMB Reports: The bill requires the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to report to the President and Congress an estimate of the cost of the troubled assets and guarantees of the troubled assets, as well as the information used to derive the estimate within 60 days of the exercise of authority. After the first report, OMB must report this information semiannually to Congress and provide a detailed analysis of how the estimate has changed from the previous report.


CBO Reports: The bill requires the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to submit an assessment of the OMB report to Congress within 45 days of receipt. The assessment must include the cost of the troubled assets and guarantees of the troubled assets, the information and valuation methods used to calculate such cost, and the impact on the deficit and the debt.


Analysis in the President’s Budget: The bill requires that the President to include analysis and estimates relating to the costs of the actions taken by the Secretary using any authority provided by this legislation as a part of each fiscal years Budget request.


TITLE III – TAX PROVISIONS

Gain or Loss from Sale or Exchange of Certain Preferred Stock: The bill allows for the gain or loss from the sale or exchange of preferred stock in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to be treated as ordinary income or loss. This provision helps local community banks across the country by allowing them to write off losses on Fannie and Freddie mortgage assets they hold.


Special Rules for Tax Treatment of Executive Compensation: Any company directly selling assets to Treasury would have its executive compensation subject to Treasury’s approval so long as Treasury has an equity stake in the company. The provision does not allow employers participating in the troubled assets relief program for any company selling at least $300 million of assets as part of the auction process to deduct executive remuneration that exceeds $500,000.


Exclusion of Income from Discharge of Qualified Principal Residence Indebtedness: The bill extends current law tax forgiveness on the cancellation of mortgage debt.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

According to a letter sent from OMB Director Jim Nussle to Republican Leader John Boehner on September 28, 2008, “the legislation authorizes a purchase program that allows the federal government to hold up to $700 billion in mortgages or mortgage-backed securities, and creates a program to allow federal guarantees as an alternative to direct purchases. The $700 billion figure is substantial, of course, but the size of the problem in our financial markets requires a commitment of this size. For several reasons, however, the impact on the taxpayer will be considerably less than $700 billion.” (Nussle Letter)

COST ESTIMATE

According to the Congressional Budget Office, “Although it is not currently possible to quantify the net budget impact given the lack of details about how the program would be implemented, CBO has concluded that enacting the bill would likely entail some net budget cost—which would, however, be substantially smaller than $700 billion.” (CBO Cost Estimate)

"State of the Black World" conference to set Black agenda

Since unemployement numbers have hit double digits for the first time in three years, Black community activists will gather in New Orleans, Nov. 19 to discuss the state of the "Black world."

read more | digg story

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sen. Obama on Face the Nation




Legendary Actor Paul Newman dies at 83

He was indeed a legend and not just as a Hollywood star, but as a humanitarian & philanthropist. He used his stardom to create a popular food brand that donated all of its profits to charity! His brand has become the model for smart use of markets and celebrity status to raise funds for worthy causes.

read more | digg story

Text of economic rescue bill official summary

Official summary of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.

read more | digg story

House of Representatives Passes 2nd Economic Stimulus

The legislation the House passed creates new, good-paying jobs by investing in new energy technologies and new infrastructure, repairing America’s crumbling roads, bridges and schools, helping seniors and working families afford groceries and health care, and offering Americans job training to gain new skills and earn higher wages.

read more | digg story

Barack in the Virginia rain campaigning for you

Barack in the Virginia rain


Barack accepts award in D.C.

"...We can't afford another four..."

After his erratic and reckless response to the economic crisis, McCain needed a game-changer last night to restore his campaign. He didn't even come close.

In a CBS News poll, uncommitted voters see Barack as the debate winner. When it comes to the economy, 66% say Barack would make the right decisions versus 42% for McCain.

The CNN poll results are also clear:


Who did the best job tonight?
Barack: 51
McCain: 38

Who would better handle Iraq?
Barack: 52
McCain: 47

Who would better handle the economy?
Barack: 58
McCain: 37


These are not the kind of reviews John McCain needed, but they show that Barack is offering the change we need.

Barack broke through last night with voters who were watching -- but we need to get the word out to the millions who didn't tune in.

Will you watch our latest ad and make a donation of $25 or more to show your support?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

McCain says "Horseshit" - 236.com - The Feed

McCain actually uttered the word "Horseshit" during Dem. Presidential Candidate, Barack Obama's response. He cursed during a presidential debate --a nationally televised program.

read more | digg story

First Debate- The First Reviews Are In

Source after source- Obama hits home, while McCain plays fast and loose with the facts. What at first appears to be a toss-up, after inspection is an Obama win.

read more | digg story

Friday, September 26, 2008

Sam Stein: Ex-Adviser: McCain

An ex-adviser to McCain explains how his bailout misadventure is proof that his campaign is governed by tactical gimmicks rather than policy, and says that Obama wins any comparison of who has the more "steady hand."

read more | digg story

Blacks and Jews Have Common Cause Against Palin.

Florida Democrat Alcee Hastings says Palin doesn't care about blacks or Jews.

read more | digg story

No felony charges for Ye

LOS ANGELES - Los Angeles County prosecutors say they have declined to file felony charges against Kanye West for an incident in which a paparazzo's camera was broken.

read more | digg story

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Nose cutting and face spiting

In order to look presidential while not actually being presidential, John McCain on Wednesday tried to one-up Barack Obama using our decaying American economy as a backdrop/prop but Barack won. He made the good decision. He showed sound judgement.
So many good, decent people will be hurt due to eight years of Republican administration of our money. The GOP will sacrifice them to the gods just to keep Barack from getting ahead 10 points in the polls, in key battleground states.
Look what Harry Reid had to say.

Then


and Now

Watch over your money, the FDIC insures to 100,000 per customer

President Bush on the Economy

I heard President Bush tonight but I'm not scared because I don't have a hundred grand in the bank. I am also unemployed and wasn't going to be one of the ones getting a bank loan for a house or a car. I like to be able to afford the things a get.
He said:
For more than a decade we got lots of foreign dollars and we had low interest rates and people enjoyed that. Easy credit and falling home values and bad credit risks and adjustable rate mortgages and supply exceeding demand and mortgage defaults brought us to this point. And little regulation of the financial industry.
Mortgage backed securities sold around the world were bad. Many of these belonging to Freddie and Fannie Mac and questionable investments by those two led us to this crisis.
After people stopped buying and selling MBS because people were defaulting on their loans banks stopped lending money and the financial gears ground to a halt, bailouts started happening.
Then President Bush started to scare me. He said Retirement Accounts would dry up and people could loose their jobs. Like more than normal--like everybody. (then we'd be like a third world country)if this bailout wasn't passed.
He said he and Sens. Obama and McCain and other important people will discuss all of this Thursday.
Taxpayer money is involved and he wants input.
The $700 billion is to purchase that MBS. The government is going to buy and hold those securities until the financial markets are better.
I hope this is worked out because now, I'm really scared.
When I was in college and credit card companies extended credit to my 18-year-old jobless self, my parents bailed me out when I didn't pay them.
After that, I had to pay them myself. Then I learned to be more responsible. I got tired of working and having no money after bill paying.
I guess that is an over-simplified example.
Obama has been keeping up with all of this so he is informed, Chris Dodd, Chairman of the Sen. Banking Committee, said. He said McCain is a come-lately fellow who hasn't been keeping up.
"I'haven't heard a word from John McCain," is what he said.
I trust Obama and what he says. Pay attention America, this involves you.

Both Sens. Obama and McCain will meet with President Bush Thursday

President Bush invited Sen. Barack Obama to the White House for a meeting Thursday after Sen. John McCain called off his participation in Friday's scheduled presidential debates in Mississippi. Both men will meet with the president tomorrow.

McCain said that he was quitting his campaign and the debates because he was needed in Washington D.C., however, several banking committee members said they had been moving along fine without him since he had not bothered to offer help before. In contrast, Obama said he calls and keeps in contact with who he needs to to make sure he is on task. He said they'd let him know if he was needed.
Cool, Obama went back to work. McCain decided to go ahead and call-off anyway.

Nowadays, people use cell phones, telephones, fax machines, text messages, couriers, and video meetings to keep in contact.

It was said that McCain was pulling another political stunt by not wanting to show up at the debates. He even tried to one-up Obama by giving a preemptive televised press conference announcing that he would not be at the debates because the sky was falling. The sky has been falling for at least a week now.

Obama suggested at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday that they issue a joint statement and six hours later, McCain informed Obama they should skip the debates.
Obama said no, of course, because he, like many functioning Americans, can do two things at once. And he has a competent staff. And he is not scared to debate McCain. And even if he had some apprehension, he would never, ever run from a fight. Or a debate.

Shame on McCain! The Sarah Palin trick was flashier. This one was lame, like anyone still supporting the McCain/Palin ticket. They even managed to ruin the woman-for- president thing 'cause they got Palin on a pedestal, prancing her in front of our male allies like she is for sale. This is not Hookers on the Point, this is a presidential election. Why couldn't someone say, "Gov. Palin, you're so smart! Or honest, or authentic--etc."
"Oh, you're so pretty Gov. Palin!"
GMAFB!

Okay, hold the blog. I just heard a reference to the phrase, "spearchucker" on the "Worst Person in the World" segment on MSNBC. WTF?!

Is John McCain Afraid to Debate Barack Obama?

The strange and weird campaign of Senator John McCain keeps getting more bizarre by the hour. Maybe it's because he's neither capable of handling the pressures of a nationwide campaign or even the Presidency. Now, the Arizona Senator wants to suspend the campaign and go to Washington to solve the economic crisis he helped create.

read more | digg story

Hillary: "No Doubt" Obama Will Win

Senator Clinton has no doubt that Obama will be elected in November.

read more | digg story

Washington Post ABC Poll Obama Leads McCain by 9! 52% - 43%

Turmoil in the financial industry and growing pessimism about the economy have altered the shape of the presidential race, giving Democratic nominee Barack Obama the first clear lead of the general-election campaign over Republican John McCain, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News national poll.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Senator Obama's statement on President Ahmadinejad's Remarks...

I strongly condemn President Ahmadinejad's outrageous remarks at the United Nations, and am disappointed that he had a platform to air his hateful and anti-Semitic views. The threat from Iran's nuclear program is grave. Now is the time for Americans to unite on behalf of the strong sanctions that are needed to increase pressure on the Iranian regime.

Once again, I call upon Senator McCain to join me in supporting a bipartisan bill to increase pressure on the Iranian regime by allowing states and private companies to divest from companies doing business in Iran. The security of our ally Israel is too important to play partisan politics, and it is deeply disappointing that Senator McCain and a few of his allies in Congress feel otherwise.

FBI investigating companies at heart of meltdown (AP)

AP - The FBI is investigating four major U.S. financial institutions whose collapse helped trigger a $700 billion bailout plan by the Bush administration, The Associated Press has learned.

read more | digg story

Obama sharpens skills, poised to strike during presidential debate

WASHINGTON - Democrat Barack Obama studied and practiced privately with aides in a Florida hotel Tuesday in the first of three days of intense preparations for his upcoming foreign policy debate with GOP rival John McCain.

read more | digg story

New polls give Obama economic edge (AFP)

A flurry of new polls in vital White House battlegrounds Tuesday showed Democrat Barack Obama getting a clear boost from the financial crisis as voters blame Republicans for the meltdown.

read more | digg story

Monday, September 22, 2008

Volunteer at your local Obama for President campaign office

I registered people to vote today as I volunteered at my local Barack Obama for President campaign office.
I ran into some youth-two of them- who said to me, "I'm voting for McCain. He gone win anyway!"
I thought the first youth was joking with me but somehow I don't think she was. I urged her to change her mind and bid everyone inside the Laundromat farewell. Everyone else was voting for Obama anyway and said they'd give some thought to volunteering at their local office on Saturday.
I ran into another who said he was "voting for McCain" for the same reasons. Then he said he was joking.
Not that I think anything in this election cycle is a joking matter, I signed the young man up to vote in Indiana anyway, hoping that he really was joking.
I urged them as well to volunteer at the local Obama for President office.
None of the people in my age range 40s were laughing and joking about registering people to vote or volunteering and seemed to give my urgings to volunteer some serious thought.
There are barriers to volunteering.
First, you have to leave your home, your comfort zone and go talk to people you don't know.
People who overcome this, obviously know helping put Barack in the White House is way more important than our personal comfort--especially when volunteering begins and ends when you say it does--it's volunteer work!
Second, expenditures of personal time is an important decision.
Either there are children to attend to or work considerations that make one say either: yes, I will give up X number of hours on this day of this week or I will not. The easiest way is to donate an hour of your downtime after work.
If you workout for two hours, give one of those hours to Obama. If you go to the local tap for three hours, give one of those happy hours to Barack--then return to your normal schedule.
The benefits of volunteering is that you meet new people who can later become business contacts or friends. Another benefit is that you learn stuff when you talk to people who don't live or work with you.
Once you volunteer, you can talk to your friends about the experience--they may want to volunteer too.

Janet Jackson's Rock Witchu Tour Sells Out in Los Angeles and Las Vegas


LL Cool J receives roaring welcome on his first date of the tour


LOS ANGELES, Sept. 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Music icon Janet Jackson kicked off her highly anticipated Rock Witchu tour to rave reviews, major media coverage and fan adulation during opening week of the smash tour, selling out Staples Center in Los Angeles and Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas last week. Adding to the excitement in Los Angeles was the addition of hip-hop superstar LL Cool J, who joined the tour at the Staples Center on September 17th and will continue on the Live Nation produced tour from Chicago on September 25th through the final date at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas on October 22nd.

"Janet Jackson still a trend-setter, diva, and marvelous performer -- When she decides it's time for a tour, Ms. Jackson makes sure it's done right. And when she promises fans the show is going to be packed with hits, costumes and dancers, she doesn't disappoint."

What the Reviewers said:


Vancouver Sun


"Some two hours and 35 songs later, Jackson had played all 10 of her No. 1 hits, as well as her other blockbusters ... That's how a true pro gets back to business after a seven-year absence from the road."

Contra Costa Times


"Any show following Janet Jackson into GM Place will find it difficult to match her."

Vancouver Province


"Offering up a lengthy and engrossing song-and-dance spectacle that delivers on every level..."

Variety


"Nine seamlessly executed costume changes are only the beginning. This show is all about dominance, and Jackson held the whip."

Los Angeles Times


Rock Witchu kicked off on September 10th in Vancouver, BC with unparalleled dance routines and stage production featuring more than two hours of music including fan favorites and smash hits "Control," "Rhythm Nation," "Pleasure Principal," "All For You," "Young Love," "Let's Wait A While," "What Have You Done For Me Lately," "Escapade," and more along with new singles "Feedback" and "LUV," spanning three decades of music that have made Janet Jackson one of the most celebrated performers in history.

LL Cool J joins the tour on the heels of 13th album release, Exit 13. More than a hip-hop artist, more than an actor, the author, television producer, two-time Grammy Award winner LL Cool J is an American icon who kicked opened his own doors to music, Hollywood, television, publishing, and along the way created opportunities for countless others. His 20 million album sales worldwide are just the tip of the iceberg for this international megastar, recipient of countless industry awards.

For more information on Janet Jackson and the tour go to www.LiveNation.com, www.JanetFanClub.com or www.janetjackson.com. For additional information on LL Cool J go to www.LLCoolJ.com

ABOUT LIVE NATION:

Live Nation is the future of the music business. With the most live concerts, music venues and festivals in the world and the most comprehensive concert search engine on the web, Live Nation is revolutionizing the music industry: onstage and online. Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, Live Nation is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, trading under the symbol "LYV." Additional information about the company can be found at www.livenation.com under the "About Us" section.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Poll: Racial views steer some white Dems away from Obama-or as I like to call it, we need two Americas

By RON FOURNIER and TREVOR TOMPSON, Associated Press Writers

WASHINGTON (AP) — Deep-seated racial misgivings could cost Barack Obama the White House if the election is close, according to an AP-Yahoo News poll that found one-third of white Democrats harbor negative views toward blacks — many calling them "lazy," "violent," responsible for their own troubles.
Please make sure to look carefully at the poll, my emphasis.

The poll, conducted with Stanford University, suggests that the percentage of voters who may turn away from Obama because of his race could easily be larger than the final difference between the candidates in 2004 — about two and one-half percentage points.


So all of the whites must like all of the blacks in order for Barack to win? That is a crazy thing to say.


Certainly, Republican John McCain has his own obstacles: He's an ally of an unpopular president and would be the nation's oldest first-term president. But Obama faces this: 40 percent of all white Americans hold at least a partly negative view toward blacks, and that includes many Democrats and independents.

More than a third of all white Democrats and independents — voters Obama can't win the White House without — agreed with at least one negative adjective about blacks, (so that means two-thirds believe that he can win without them) according to the survey, and they are significantly less likely to vote for Obama than those who don't have such views.

Such numbers are a harsh dose of reality in a campaign for the history books. Obama, the first black candidate with a serious shot at the presidency, accepted the Democratic nomination on the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, a seminal moment for a nation that enshrined slavery in its Constitution.

"There are a lot fewer bigots than there were 50 years ago, but that doesn't mean there's only a few bigots," said Stanford political scientist Paul Sniderman who helped analyze the exhaustive survey.

The pollsters set out to determine why Obama is locked in a close race with McCain even as the political landscape seems to favor Democrats. President Bush's unpopularity, the Iraq war and a national sense of economic hard times cut against GOP candidates, as does that fact that Democratic voters outnumber Republicans.
Please keep in mind the race of the reporter, pollster-whatever--will determine the response received. I know this for a fact.

The findings suggest that Obama's problem is close to home — among his fellow Democrats, particularly non-Hispanic white voters. Just seven in 10 people who call themselves Democrats support Obama, compared to the 85 percent of self-identified Republicans who back McCain.

The survey also focused on the racial attitudes of independent voters because they are likely to decide the election.

Lots of Republicans harbor prejudices, too, but the survey found they weren't voting against Obama because of his race. Most Republicans wouldn't vote for any Democrat for president — white, black or brown.

Not all whites are prejudiced. Indeed, more whites say good things about blacks than say bad things, the poll shows. And many whites who see blacks in a negative light are still willing or even eager to vote for Obama.

On the other side of the racial question, the Illinois Democrat is drawing almost unanimous support from blacks, the poll shows, though that probably wouldn't be enough to counter the negative effect of some whites' views.

Race is not the biggest factor driving Democrats and independents away from Obama. Doubts about his competency loom even larger, the poll indicates. More than a quarter of all Democrats expressed doubt that Obama can bring about the change they want, and they are likely to vote against him because of that.

Three in 10 of those Democrats who don't trust Obama's change-making credentials say they plan to vote for McCain.

Still, the effects of whites' racial views are apparent in the polling.

Statistical models derived from the poll suggest that Obama's support would be as much as 6 percentage points higher if there were no white racial prejudice.
Wow, a perfect world would have prevented the current financial mess we (Americans) are in now, so dang...

But in an election without precedent, it's hard to know if such models take into account all the possible factors at play.

The AP-Yahoo News poll used the unique methodology of Knowledge Networks, a Menlo Park, Calif., firm that interviews people online after randomly selecting and screening them over telephone. Numerous studies have shown that people are more likely to report embarrassing behavior and unpopular opinions when answering questions on a computer rather than talking to a stranger.

Other techniques used in the poll included recording people's responses to black or white faces flashed on a computer screen, asking participants to rate how well certain adjectives apply to blacks, measuring whether people believe blacks' troubles are their own fault, and simply asking people how much they like or dislike blacks.

"We still don't like black people," said John Clouse, 57, reflecting the sentiments of his pals gathered at a coffee shop in Somerset, Ohio.

What a shame.


Given a choice of several positive and negative adjectives that might describe blacks, 20 percent of all whites said the word "violent" strongly applied, so 80 percent wouldn't have said that. Among other words, 22 percent agreed with "boastful", 88 percent didn't agree 29 percent "complaining," 71 percent wouldn't have used that word. 13 percent "lazy" so 87 percent would not agree and 11 percent "irresponsible and 89 percent would not have said that." When asked about positive adjectives, whites were more likely to stay on the fence than give a strongly positive assessment.

Point: There are two sides to every poll, positive and negative.

Among white Democrats, one third cited a negative adjective (two-thirds positive) and, of those, 58 percent said they planned to back Obama or more than half.

The poll sought to measure latent prejudices among whites by asking about factors contributing to the state of black America. One finding: More than a quarter or less than three quarters of white Democrats agree that "if blacks would only try harder, they could be just as well off as whites."
Mindless chatter or sincerity?
Those who agreed with that statement were much less likely to back Obama than those who didn't.

Among white independents, racial stereotyping is not uncommon. For example, while about 20 percent of independent voters called blacks "intelligent" or "smart," more than one third or less than two-thirds latched on the adjective "complaining" and 24 percent said blacks were "violent."

Nearly four in 10 white independents agreed that blacks would be better off if they "try harder." So six of 10 do not.

The survey broke ground by incorporating images of black and white faces to measure implicit racial attitudes, or prejudices that are so deeply rooted that people may not realize they have them. That test suggested the incidence of racial prejudice is even higher, with more than half of whites revealing more negative feelings toward blacks than whites.
Maybe they had a bad day that day.
Researchers used mathematical modeling to sort out the relative impact of a huge swath of variables that might have an impact on people's votes — including race, ideology, party identification, the hunger for change and the sentiments of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's backers.

Just 59 percent or more than half of her white Democratic supporters said they wanted Obama to be president. Nearly 17 percent of Clinton's white backers plan to vote for McCain. or way less than half

Among white Democrats, Clinton supporters were nearly twice as likely as Obama backers to say at least one negative adjective described blacks well, a finding that suggests many of her supporters in the primaries — particularly whites with high school education or less — were motivated in part by racial attitudes.

Dumb stupid people or highly educated leaders in the free world?

The survey of 2,227 adults was conducted Aug. 27 to Sept. 5. It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2.1 percentage points.

———

Associated Press writers Nancy Benac, Julie Carr Smyth, Philip Elliot, Julie Pace and Sonya Ross contributed to this story.

I WONDER HOW MANY AFRICAN-AMERICANS INTERVIEWED PEOPLE FOR THIS POLL?

Chris Dodd fires back at McCain

Friday, September 19, 2008

'Tent cities' of homeless on the rise across the US

Homeless encampments dubbed "tent cities" are springing up across the US, partly in response to soaring numbers of home repossessions, the credit crunch and rising unemployment, according to a report.

read more | digg story

Obama on the American economy



McCain Covered Up Information On POWs Left Behind

John McCain, who has risen to political prominence on his image as a Vietnam POW war hero, has, inexplicably, worked very hard to hide from the public stunning information about American prisoners in Vietnam who, unlike him, didn't return home.

read more | digg story

Poll: Obama tops McCain as football-watching buddy

People would rather watch a football game with Barack Obama than with John McCain.Obama was the pick over McCain by 50 percent to 47 percent, according to an Associated Press-Yahoo! News poll released Friday. It generally mirrored each presidential candidate's strengths and weaknesses with voters.

read more | digg story

Ethnic cleansing, not surge, key to drop in Iraq violence

Satellite images taken at night show heavily Sunni Arab neighborhoods of Baghdad began emptying before a U.S. troop surge in 2007, graphic evidence of ethnic cleansing that preceded a drop in violence, according to a report published on Friday.

read more | digg story

Campaign Momentum Shifts To Obama As McCain Falters in Polls

Under fire for his assertion that the American economy is fundamentally sound, John McCain moved Tuesday to assure voters of his empathy and accused Barack Obama of attempting to take political advantage of the roiling Wall Street crisis.

read more | digg story

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Indy/Star poll puts Barack three points ahead of McCain

Found in my G-mail inbox:

A new Indy Star/WTHR TV/Seltzer poll shows Barack Obama with a three-point lead in our state.

The Obama campaign has opened 32 offices across the state, and supporters like you have built a powerful grassroots organization that's working in all 92 counties. We have a real chance to win in Indiana -- but we need your help.

It's up to you to reach out to your friends, family, and neighbors and ask them to help take back the political process for ordinary Americans and end the failed Bush-McCain economic policies.

Click for Volunteer opportunities

Streisand opens Obama fundraiser with Talmud lesson

Barbara Streisand started an Obama fundraiser by quoting the Talmud.

read more | digg story

Engineer in train collision led 'lonely' life

In the years leading up to his death in the locomotive of a commuter train, engineer Robert Sanchez's life was marked by personal tragedy, jail time, and concerns about his health and job security.

read more | digg story

Metrolink train crash caused by - text messaging on the job?

The deadly train crash may have caused when the engineer running the train was too busy txting and not paying attention to the stop light, according to new information in the investigation.

read more | digg story

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Campaign Momentum Shifts To Obama As McCain Falters in Polls

Under fire for his assertion that the American economy is fundamentally sound, John McCain moved Tuesday to assure voters of his empathy and accused Barack Obama of attempting to take political advantage of the roiling Wall Street crisis.

read more | digg story

Humor: Push Polls for bigots - How to convince racists to vote Barack

It's time to target the bigots, people. Since the GOP is using push-polls to scare Jews away from Obama, we've designed our own push-poll to convince the country's bigots that Obama isn't so bad (for a black). Call up your racist friend and read him the following questions:

read more | digg story

Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell speaks out on "White Privilege"

"White privilege is when you can get pregnant at seventeen like Bristol Palin and everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of your family is a personal matter, and that no one has a right to judge you or your parents, because "every family has challenges," even as black and Latino families with similar "challenges" are regularly typified as irresponsible, pathological and arbiters of social decay."
Read more

Obama supporters say get tougher, more passionate (AP)

Worried Democrats want Barack Obama to get tougher, show more passion. Why is he so calm, supporters ask, so close to an election that looks so tight.

read more | digg story

Who the hell IS the middle class, anyway?

Roland S. Martin, CNN commentator: "If you listen to the candidates and their campaigns, those in the middle class could make upward of $200,000 a year, while some suggest middle class means earning as little as $20,000. ... Please, can we just stop with lofty talk and plain-spoken and simplistic solutions and be as specific as possible?"

read more | digg story

Ryan O' Neal, son, arrested in drug sweep at home (AP)

Authorities say they have arrested actor Ryan O'Neal and his son on suspicion of having drugs in their Malibu home.

read more | digg story

Motown legend Whitfield dies at 67

Norman Whitfield, who co-wrote a string of Motown classics including "War" and "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," has died. He was 67.

read more | digg story

Parents: When to back off, when to step in

Do you speed over to your child's school, or even college, whenever something goes wrong? Don't be a helicopter parent--you can turn your child into a wimp!Helicopter parents hover over their children--like I do but won't do anymore!

read more | digg story

Obama says he's better on economy

Sen. Barack Obama said Tuesday that the country is facing the "most serious financial crisis in generations" and argued that rival Sen. John McCain would only make it worse.

read more | digg story

Indiana goes Blue

Republican Secretary of State Todd Rokita, the state's chief elections officer, said Sen. John McCain's campaign had better take notice."They have a fight here in Indiana and it is real," Rokita said.The numbers are dramatic: In 2004, 2.5 million ballots were cast for president in Indiana. This year, the number is already in excess of 562,000 and given the recent spike in activity by campaigns and other organizations, Rokita tells CNN he expects to hit a record 750,000 by the state's October 6 registration deadline."I will say that this is the first time I have ever seen a Democratic presidential campaign this engaged in this state. Usually Indiana is No. 1 for the red states on election night when it comes to president," Rokita told CNN in an interview in his state Capitol office in Indianapolis.

read more | digg story

To Sag or Not to Sag?

If so then you could go directly to jail!

read more | digg story

http://www.imadeamesss.comNorthwest Indiana residents comment on lawmakers across the country looking to make it illegal to wear clothing that shows underwear.

read more | digg story

Even if in foreclosure, re-register to vote

According to the Michigan Messenger, James Carabelli, the chairman of the Macomb County, Michigan Republican party says, "We will have a list of foreclosed homes and will make sure those people aren't voting from those addresses."

read more | digg story

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Yeah and--So What!

Yeah and--So What!

Posted using ShareThis

Ike's misery spreads

HOUSTON - Thousands of victims of Hurricane Ike settled in at shelters for what could be weeks, and others waited wearily in line for food, water, ice and gasoline Monday as it became increasingly clear the disaster along the Texas coast would be measured not by its death toll but by the misery it spread.
Read more

Monday, September 15, 2008

Children Who Have Frequent Family Dinners Less Likely to Use Marijuana, Tobacco, and Drink Alcohol


September 22 Marks 8th Annual Family Day, CASA Launches New Tools to Help Celebrate


NEW YORK, Sept. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- From 2003 to 2008 research by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University has consistently found that children who have frequent family dinners are less likely to use marijuana, tobacco and drink alcohol. CASA research reveals that compared to children who have frequent family dinners (five or more per week), children who have infrequent family dinners (less than three per week) are two and a half times likelier to have used marijuana and tobacco, and one and a half times likelier to have drunk alcohol.




Teens Who Have Used Substances
By Frequency of Family Dinners
(Average over 6 years: 2003-2008)

0-2 5-7
Dinners/Week Dinners/Week

Ever Used
Alcohol 48% 30%
Ever Used
Tobacco 29% 13%
Ever Used
Marijuana 27% 11%




Monday, September 22nd will mark CASA's eighth annual 'Family Day -- A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children(TM)' celebration. Family Day is a national movement to inform parents that the parental engagement fostered during frequent family dinners is an effective tool to help keep America's children substance free and reminds parents that "Dinner Makes A Difference!" "If you asked me based on CASA's 16 years of intensive examination of substance abuse and addiction in our nation what's the most effective thing we can do to curb this scourge and protect our children, I would say parental engagement. And there is no more effective example of this than frequent family dinners," said Joseph A. Califano, Jr., CASA's chairman and president and former U.S. Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare. "Years of surveying teens have consistently shown that the more often they have dinner with their parents, the less likely they are to smoke, drink and use drugs."

"Hidden racism from voters" stand to undermine Obama campaign

According to this article, "hidden racism from voters " will be why the GOP will get an opportunity to finish raping this country. Is this the "American" way?Don't let it happen.

read more | digg story

Obama tells the truth about...

"The challenges facing our financial system today are more evidence that too many folks in Washington & on Wall St weren't minding the store... 8 yrs of policies that have shredded consumer protections, loosened oversight & regulation, & encouraged outsized bonuses to CEOs & brought us the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression!"

read more | digg story

Warning sounded on future of web

The internet needs a way to help people separate rumour from real science, says the creator of the World Wide Web.

read more | digg story

Friday, September 12, 2008

Whites lift McCain to slim lead over Obama in poll

An overwhelming advantage in experience and lopsided support from working-class and suburban whites have lifted Republican John McCain to a slender lead over Barack Obama less than two months from Election Day, a poll on the presidential race said Friday.

read more | digg story

Kanye out of jail

N.Y.'s Fashion Week features few black runway models

A dearth of black models strutting the catwalks is a persistent issue in the fashion world and while the numbers have improved, there are still too few, fashion observers say.

read more | digg story

Obama defends kid-friendly legislation, why won't McCain?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Obama calls on Americans to renew 9/11 spirit of service

Presidential candidate Barack Obama asked Americans to "... remember that the terrorists responsible for 9/11 are still at large, and must be brought to justice," during a ceremony in New York that marked the darkest day in American history."Americans across our great country came together to stand with the families of the victims, to donate...

read more | digg story

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Cage in Bangkok Dangerous tops weekend at box office

The Nicolas Cage action-thriller "Bangkok Dangerous" grabbed $7.8 million to take the top spot at the box office.

read more | digg story

Obama takes first hard hit at Palin (Politico)

Democratic nominee refutes Palin's claim to represent change.

read more | digg story

Biden challenges Palin to take questions (Politico)

“I heard Sarah Palin and John McCain talk about change,” Biden said. “Tell me one single thing they’re going to do — on the economy, foreign policy, taxes, that is going to be change. Name me one! This is such malarkey — 90 percent of the time, John votes with the president.”

read more | digg story

Palin's Church Promotes Converting Gays

"Gov. Sarah Palin's church is promoting a conference that promises to convert gays into heterosexuals through the power of prayer. "You'll be encouraged by the power of God's love and His desire to transform the lives of those impacted by homosexuality," according to the insert in the bulletin of the Wasilla Bible Church.

read more | digg story

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Rich get richer and the Poor get poorer: Cindy McCain's Monday Outfit Cost $300,000

One of the persistent memes in the Republican line of attack against Barack Obama is the notion that he is an elitist, whereas the G.O.P. represent real working Americans. But when Vanity Fair priced out Cindy McCain's Monday Night Convention outfit, the total price was staggering to say the least.... between $299,100 and $313,100

read more | digg story

Obama: Would send Attorney General to review Bush War Crimes

He worried that such a probe could be spun as "a partisan witch hunt." However, he said that equation changes if there was willful criminality, because "nobody is above the law."

read more | digg story

FBI Wanted Obama Plotters Charged,But Rove Appointee Said No

We noticed last week that it was awfully peculiar that Colorado’s U.S. Attorney, Troy Eid, had so airily dismissed conspiracy charges against the three white-supremacist tweakers who were caught planning to assassinate Barack Obama at last week’s Democratic National Convention in Denver. Now it turns out that those suspicions were fully warranted:

read more | digg story

AP: Palin's Obama Attacks Stretch Truth At GOP Convention

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and her Republican supporters held back little Wednesday as they issued dismissive attacks on Barack Obama and flattering praise on her credentials to be vice president. In some cases, the reproach and the praise stretched the truth.

read more | digg story

Seattle People Examiner: Sarah Palin gets dished by Wasilla caterer Sue Williams

Seattle People Examiner: Sarah Palin gets dished by Wasilla caterer Sue Williams

Posted using ShareThis

Somalia may be growing ripe for al-Qaida - TwinCities.com

NAIROBI, Kenya — Conventional wisdom long held that Somalia was so inhospitable that even al-Qaida gave up trying to gain a foothold amid feuding clans, erratic warlords and a wily population hardened by years of anarchy.

read more | digg story

Freak hailstorm turns part of tropical Kenya white

Reuters - A huge hailstorm turned parts of central Kenya white, thrilling residents most of whom had never experienced such conditions, officials said on Wednesday.

read more | digg story

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

SKorea says NKorea restoring nuclear complex (AP)

AP - South Korea said Wednesday that North Korea had begun restoring its nuclear facilities. But the U.S. played it down, saying the country apparently only moved some equipment out of storage.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

URAC Public comments sought

WASHINGTON, Sept. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- URAC, one of the nation's leading independent accrediting organizations, called for public comment today on revisions to its draft Case Management accreditation standards. URAC is seeking input from any interested parties, including purchasers, policy makers, consumers, health care management organizations and health plans. The deadline for public comment is Oct. 7, 2008.

The standards are available for review at www.urac.org/publiccomment.

URAC will only accept comments through this online comment form. After public comment, additional revisions will be made. Final draft standards are expected to be reviewed by URAC's Board of Directors in December 2008.

Al Qaida has free movement in Pakistan

Pakistan's top security official Monday admitted that al Qaida's leadership moved freely in and out of the country and vowed that "no mercy" would be shown to extremists based in its tribal territory that borders Afghanistan.

read more | digg story

Poll: Obama hits 50 percent mark (Politico)

Politico - Barack Obama met the 50 percent threshold for the first time Tuesday in the Gallup daily tracking poll, a symbolic hurdle that until now had eluded the Democratic nominee.

read more | digg story

Jags' Collier shot, has life-threatening injuries

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP)—Jacksonville Jaguars offensive tackle Richard Collier was shot and critically wounded outside an apartment building early Tuesday as he and a former Jacksonville teammate waited for two women they had met at a nightclub, police said.

read more | digg story

Palin's mother-in-law may vote for Obama

"I'm not sure what she brings to the ticket other than she's a woman and a conservative. Well, she's a better speaker than McCain," Faye Palin said with a laugh.

read more | digg story

Poll: Obama/Biden Take Eight-Point Lead

Latest polling data looking strong for them.

read more | digg story

McCain fought money on teen pregnancy programs (AP)

Republican John McCain, whose running mate disclosed that her unmarried 17-year-old daughter is pregnant, has opposed proposals to spend federal money on teen-pregnancy prevention programs and voted to require poor teen mothers to stay in school or lose their benefits.

read more | digg story

Gustav revives question: Is New Orleans worth it? (AP)

Those who love New Orleans say Hurricane Gustav is proof that the billions of dollars spent to protect the city and bring it back to life after the devastating 2005 storm season was worth it.

read more | digg story

Monday, September 1, 2008

Arts & Culture: Daughters chosen to run Bayreuth

The daughters of outgoing Bayreuth Festival director Wolfgang Wagner have been chosen to run the German opera event after his 57 years at the helm.

read more | digg story

John McCain voted against Katrina relief multiple times

John McCain, now "concerned about Gustav", had numerous votes against Katrina relief in 2005, and helped to strike down Democratic bills and amendments that would bring tax benefits, health care and emergency relief to victims of Katrina, Rita and Wilma.

read more | digg story

60-year-old Saudi man wins 10-yr-old girl in bet

A 60-year-old man was set to marry a 10-year-old girl after he won a bet with her dad, but thanks to protests from human rights group in Saudi Arabia, the marriage was stopped.

read more | digg story

Top Alaska Newspapers Question Palin's Fitness

Greg Mitchell: For the past 24 hours, the pages and web sites of the two leading papers up there have raised all sorts of issues surrounding Palin.

read more | digg story

Publisher

My photo

Nothing much to say...ummm..my teeth are really white and that's a good thing...ummmm...
I will put links to blog posts here from time to time and I would like you to read and comment. Please watch, subscribe to the videos too. Thank you!
Oh Yeah, I started a new blog!
I began DIY Life Hack Mamma because that is what I do most of the time: figure stuff out.
 If you've ever heard of the phrase champagne taste on a beer budget, you've found me. I make soap from scratch because regular soap does not agree with my skin, I recreate restaurant meals at home, create appliances I cannot install or afford (yet,) and in general, I figure out a way from no way. I pray a lot too. Join me on my journey. It will be fun. 
Everything you see me do is for entertainment purposes only. All of my experiments are for my purposes only. It's fun to watch.

White House.gov Blog Feed

Post-Tribune :: News ::

Telegraph Barack Obama

Video - CNNMoney.com

starbulletin.com | Local News Hawaii

Barack Obama: Latest Video

AP Top National Headlines